Study Doubts the Association Between Eczema and Cardiovascular Disease

While a connection has been found between psoriasis and cardiovascular disease, a recent study has found no link between another skin disease, atopic dermatitis, and cardiovascular disease.

An association between the skin condition, eczema, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease cannot be found, according to a study.

In a study recently published in the British Journal of Dermatology, Aaron Drucker, MD, FRCPC, an assistant professor of dermatology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a physician with the Lifespan Physicians Group, and his team investigated records of 258,119 people, 30 to 74 years old, in the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project.

Originally, Drucker created a hypothesis that suggested that people with atopic dermatitis (AD), a form of eczema, were more likely to have cardiovascular issues. However, the study revealed the absence of a link between AD and cardiovascular disease.

The study found a 0.79 times reduced risk of stroke, 0.87 times reduced risk of hypertension, 0.78 times reduced risk of diabetes, and a 0.97 times reduced risk of heart attack.

“It’s important to make this clear so it doesn’t get misinterpreted: Even though we found lower rates of these outcomes with atopic dermatitis, we are not interpreting that as atopic dermatitis decreasing the risk,” said Drucker.

The common idea that AD and cardiovascular disease are related is typically assumed because of the connection that has been identified between psoriasis, another skin condition, and cardiovascular disease, the study noted. Despite the similarities between psoriasis and AD, the 2 skin conditions vary at the molecular level.

“In response to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease discovered for psoriasis, clinicians and psoriasis patients have been encouraged to more actively screen for and manage cardiovascular disease,” Drucker points out. “It appears that similar measures may not be warranted for atopic dermatitis.”

The study concluded that while AD is not necessarily associated with cardiovascular disease, Drucker is looking to investigate a possible connection between AD severity and cardiovascular disease.

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