Could season of birth influence risk of AD?
Published online: October 30, 2019
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic skin condition of childhood affecting about one fifth of young children. While several risk factors have been proposed, there is very little evidence avail-able. One risk factor that has been observed is season of birth. A higher incidence of AD has been noted in climates or seasons that could promote skin dryness. In a recent issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, Caloy et al performed a systemic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the possible relationship between season of birth and the risk of devel-oping atopic dermatitis.
The authors identified 23 relevant articles and included 9 of them in the analysis. The studies in-cluded over 726 thousand children aged 0-12 years in the northern hemisphere. They found that 12.9% had AD. A positive and significant association was observed between being born in fall (odds ratio 1.16) and winter (odds ratio 1.15) and developing AD. The authors indicated that more studies are needed to understand the relationship of season of birth to AD and the possible role of the climate in its etiology. They suggest that if prophylactic use of emollients to protect skin barrier can reduce the risk of atopic dermatitis, this approach could be of particular im-portance in children born in selected seasons in the Northern hemisphere.
There is a need for additional and better designed studies to understand the effect of seasonal changes on the risk of atopic dermatitis.
The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.