Atopic dermatitis (AD) is associated with impaired sleep quality but not sleep duration throughout childhood, a new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics reports. In addition, increasing disease severity and comorbid asthma or allergic rhinitis appear to be associated with worse sleep-quality outcomes.
Researchers performed this longitudinal cohort study using data (1990-2008) from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a population-based birth cohort in Avon, United Kingdom. The study sample was limited to children alive at 1 year of age and included repeated measures of self-reported AD and sleep through age 16 years of age (n=13,998; male, 51.6%; median follow-up duration, 11 years). Data analysis was performed from September 2017 to September 2018.
A total of 4938 children (35.3%) met the definition of AD between 2 and 16 years of age. Total sleep duration was similar between children with active AD and those without AD at all ages. Children with active AD were estimated to sleep a mean 2 minutes less per day throughout childhood (95% CI, −4 to 0 minutes). Children with active dermatitis had nearly 50% higher odds of reporting more sleep-quality disturbances throughout childhood (adjusted OR [aOR], 1.48; 95% CI, 1.33-1.66). Worse sleep quality was reported in children with more severe active disease (quite bad or very bad AD: aOR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.42-1.98) and in those with comorbid asthma or allergic rhinitis (aOR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.54-2.09). Children with inactive disease (OR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.28-1.55) and those with active mild disease (OR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.27-1.54) had higher odds of reporting more sleep quality.
The authors said: “Our findings suggest that clinicians should consider sleep quality among all children with atopic dermatitis, especially those with comorbid asthma or allergic rhinitis and severe disease; it appears interventions to improve sleep quality are needed for this population.”