Adult eczema linked to cardiovascular risk factors

Published Online: January 8, 2015

Eczema is a chronic itchy disorder of the skin that can greatly affect sufferers’ quality of life, leading to sleep disturbance, and raising one’s chances of being affected by other illnesses or diseases. However, little is known about the health behaviors and cardiovascular risk factors in adults with eczema.  

Using data from the 2010 and 2012 National Health Interview Survey, Silverberg and Greenland studied the association of eczema in the US with cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure. This survey included 27,157 adults (in 2010) and 34,525 adults (in 2012) from all 50 states. The results of this study were recently published in The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI).

Eczema was associated with higher rates of cigarette smoking, and smoking from an earlier age, as well as higher rates of drinking alcohol, heavier alcohol consumption, and less frequent vigorous activity. Eczema was also associated with higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure, prediabetes and diabetes, and high cholesterol. Rates of these disorders were even higher in adults with eczema and sleep disturbance than those with eczema alone.

This study demonstrates that eczema is associated with increased cardiovascular risk factors. The results also suggest that eczema is associated with multiple unhealthy and potentially modifiable behaviors, including cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and more sedentary lifestyle. Patients with eczema may benefit from interventions aimed at lifestyle modification and improving overall cardiovascular health, such as quitting smoking, increased exercise, and healthy diet.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is an official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

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