Prevalence of Atopic Dermatitis in Italian Schoolchildren: Factors Affecting its Variation
Luigi Naldi, Fabio Parazzini, Silvano Gallus and GISED study centres
The frequency of atopic dermatitis in Italian children and its relationship with selected variables were analysed
in a large survey of skin health conducted in Italy. In 1997 we conducted a survey on schoolchildren aged 12–17 years from 13 areas of northern, central and southern Italy. For the present analyses, 3179 Caucasian children (1618 males, 1561 females) were considered. A diagnosis of atopic dermatitis was reported in 224 cases (7.0%). The frequency of reported atopic dermatitis was significantly higher in children with asthma (rate ratio (RR) 4.5; 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.1–6.5). The lifetime prevalence of a diagnosis of atopic dermatitis was higher among schoolchildren reporting a diagnosis of psoriasis (RR 5.5, 95% CI 3.0–10.1) and vitiligo (RR 16.1, 95% CI 6.5–39.5). This study gives estimates of the lifetime prevalence of atopic dermatitis in adolescents in Italy and emphasizes the direct association between the condition and other immune-related skin diseases.