A new study has identified a significantly increased risk of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among people with atopic dermatitis (AD), prompting its authors to suggest physicians should screen AD patients for suicidality.
Researchers analysed data from 15 studies including 4,770,767 participants. Of these 310,681 people had AD, while there were 4,460,086 controls.
A meta-analysis of 11 of these studies found that patients with AD were 44 per cent more likely to exhibit suicidal ideation than those without AD (pooled odds ratio [OR] 1.44; 95% CI 1.25-1.65). A meta-analysis of three studies found patients with AD were 36 per cent more likely to attempt suicide than those without AD (pooled OR 1.36; 95% CI 1.09-1.70). Analysis of studies which compared patients with mild AD to those with moderate to severe AD, found those with moderate to severe AD had a higher prevalence of suicidal ideation.
Writing in JAMA Dermatology, the authors said monitoring for suicidality in patients with AD is “crucial to improving patient outcomes". They suggested that dermatology providers should screen patients for suicidality, and if needed, refer the patient to their primary care or mental health provider for follow-up care.