Severe atopic eczema in adults is associated with a moderately increased risk of cardiovascular problems including heart attacks, stroke, and irregular heart rate, according to a study published in The BMJ.
Atopic eczema (AE) is becoming more common worldwide which affects up to 10% of adults. It is caused by both skin barrier and immune system defects, and there is increasing evidence that the systemic inflammatory component of the disease may contribute to other conditions, including cardiovascular outcomes.
Richard J. Silverwood and his associates conducted a study to investigate whether adults with atopic eczema are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and whether the risk varies with the disease severity and condition activity over time.
The primary outcome measured in the study was Cardiovascular outcomes (myocardial infarction, unstable angina, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, and cardiovascular death).
The study included 3,87, 439 patients with atopic eczema versus 1, 528, 477 patients without atopic eczema with an average age of 43 years at cohort entry out of which 66% were female.
The study found a strong dose-response relation with severity of AE and showed:
- 20% increase in the risk of stroke
- 40% to 50% increase in the risk of myocardial infarction, unstable angina, atrial fibrillation, and cardiovascular death
- 70% increase in the risk of heart failure
- Patients with the most active atopic eczema (active >50% of follow-up) were also at a greater risk of cardiovascular outcomes
The study concluded that consideration should be given to developing prevention strategies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease among patients with severe or predominantly active atopic eczema, including awareness of and screening for conventional cardiovascular risk factors.
For more reference log on to http://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k1786