Severe eczema flags other health problems

July 2, 2013

It seems that severe eczema is associated with a host of other health problems in children, including impaired sleep, asthma, hay fever, food allergies, and, yes, dental problems.

 

It seems that severe eczema is associated with a host of other health problems in children, including impaired sleep, asthma, hay fever, food allergies, and even dental problems.

A new study finds that severe eczema in children, as opposed to a mild or moderate form of the skin condition, is associated with poorer overall health; increased health care utilization, including medical, dental, therapy, and mental services; and an overall higher prevalence of comorbid chronic health disorders.

The worse the eczema was, the more severe were the comorbidities and the worse the child’s overall health.

Researchers looked at data on more than 90,000 children. Approximately 7% of the study population was considered to have severe eczema, as opposed to mild or moderate eczema.

The investigators found that in the previous year, almost a third of the children with severe eczema had asthma compared with 19% of children who did not have severe eczema. About 14% of kids with eczema had toothaches, compared with 10% of kids without eczema. Additionally, about 21% of children with eczema used health services, compared with 11% of healthy children of the same age. 

The findings were the same regardless of gender, age, and race or ethnicity.

According to the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health, a little over 12% of children aged from 0 to 17 years were diagnosed with eczema in the preceding year.