Children with atopic dermatitis at greater risk for multiple allergies

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  • Children with atopic dermatitis (AD) are at greater risk of being sensitized to multiple allergens. 
Why this matters
  • Conclusion supports hypothesis that sensitization may occur through compromised skin barrier as a result of AD.
  • Polysensitization is common but not well understood.
  • Early AD is a risk factor for severe asthma in children.
  • First study to examine link between AD and polysensitization in children.
Study design
  • Retrospective cross-sectional analysis of the hospital charts of 1743 children aged <17 y whose files documented AD and other skin disorders.
  • All children included in the study had been referred for allergic symptoms and had blood test measuring presence of IgE to the 10 most common inhaled and food allergens.
  • Funding: None.
Key results
  • Children with AD had a more than 5-fold greater risk for polysensitization compared with children without AD.
  • Polysensitization was not linked to any other skin disorders.
  • Polysensitization most commonly seen in children aged 4-11 y.
  • The majority of polysensitization was as a result of inhaled allergens.
  • Retrospective design.
  • No clinical data on severity of AD.
  • Possible selection bias.