Navigation Links
Eczema still on the increase in developing countries

Experts are warning policy makers that allergic disease might replace infectious disease as a major cause of ill health in cities undergoing rapid demographic changes in developing countries.

New research tracking the number of cases of childhood eczema across the globe has revealed big changes in the prevalence of the condition over the last five to ten years and suggests that environmental factors could be having a significant impact.

Research, by a team of allergy experts across the world, has shown a levelling off in the number of cases of eczema in children aged between 13 to 14 years and a decrease in some countries like the UK and New Zealand where childhood eczema was once highly prevalent. But a continuing rise in younger children aged between six and seven and in the number of cases reported in developing countries is of growing concern.

Their paper, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, suggests environmental factors are key for eczema expression because it is highly unlikely that genetic factors would change in such a short time.

Hywel Williams, Professor of Dermato-Epidemiology in the Centre of Evidence-Based Dermatology at The University of Nottingham, who led the eczema research, says eczema needs to be tackled at a public health level in many countries.

He says that moderate or severe cases of eczema have a significant impact on family life and carry an economic burden comparable with that of asthma. Constant scratching often leads to sleep deprivation which also affects carers as well as incurring significant financial costs.

Professor Williams and his international team analysed information from two worldwide surveys of asthma and allergy symptoms in children which was carried out by the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in childhood (ISAAC) between 1991 and 2001. ISAAC was formed in 1991 to facilitate research into asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema by promoting a standardised methodology, and currently holds a Guinness World record for the largest epidemiological study in children.

Professor Williams and his team analysed over 300,000 children aged 13 to 14 years from 105 centres in 55 countries and nearly 190,000 children aged six to seven years from 64 centres in 35 countries.

The largest decreases in children aged between 13 to 14 years were seen in developed countries in northwest Europe, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Germany and also New Zealand. Professor Williams says this provides some reassurance that an allergic disease epidemic is not increasing inexorably throughout the world, and that a threshold effect may be in operation.

Most of the biggest increases in the 13 to 14 age group were seen in developing countries such as Mexico, Chile, Kenya and Algeria and in seven countries in Southeast Asia.

However, in six to seven year olds most countries showed significant increases over the five to ten year period.

Professor Williams said: This is the first time we have been able to have a glimpse at what has been happening to eczema symptoms across the world using standardised methods. The results suggest that environmental factors are key to the expression of eczema if only we could identify those factors so that we could prevent eczema in those countries experiencing significant increases.

Although no singular environmental or genetic risk factor adequately explains the changes in eczema symptoms described in this paper Professor Williams does have some words of encouragement. He says there is already some evidence that eczema might be preventable to some degree and there is plenty of evidence on effective approaches to managing existing eczema symptoms. The way forward, he suggests, is for all public health responses to the eczema epidemic to ideally include an evaluative component so that others in the world can understand which approaches are more likely to be successful than others in different circumstances.


Contact: Professor Hywel Williams
University of Nottingham

Related medicine news :

1. Eczema sufferers test out benefits of water softeners
2. Despite efforts, significant racial disparities in cancer therapy still exist
3. Use of opioids for pain in ERs on the rise, but racial differences in use still exist
4. Attention Last-Minute Shoppers: Flu Shots Still Available
5. Cardiovascular disease death rates decline, but risk factors still exact heavy toll
6. Many States Still Fall Short in Emergency Preparedness: Report
7. People with rare type of memory loss still sensitive to others, study shows
8. Consumers Still Buying Risky Imported Drugs Online: FDA
9. Will You Still Love Me, Will You Still Need Me, When Im 84?
10. U.S. Womens Health Care Still Falls Short: Report
11. Maternal Mortality Declining in Middle-income Countries; Women Still Die in Pregnancy and Childbirth in Low-income Countries
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... Bibliomotion is thrilled to announce the launch of UNCONVENTIONAL LEADERSHIP: ... Nancy M. Schlichting, Chief Executive Officer of Henry Ford Health System (November 24, ... patients and their families, shaped my desire to improve the system of care. I ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Dr. Kevin Day, local family chiropractor in ... less this holiday season. During the Indiana winter months, Vitamin D deficiency can ... team at AlignLife want to help provide the tools needed to combat it this ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... All her life, Don Peck’s mother wondered if she was a descendant of ... been. After a 25-year search for information, Don and his aunt discovered that she ... name. Turns out, it was Don’s father who was descended from not one, but ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... engineer of patented products, announces Fragrance by Marcelle, a cosmetic invention which offers ... Perfume & Fragrance Manufacturing Market in the US is worth $3 billion annually," ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... of the Business Action on Health Awards, bestowed annually to the world’s best ... five commended companies at Global Health Council’s Landscape Symposium held in Washington D.C ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... -based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IMMY ) ... and dispensing of novel compounded pharmaceuticals.  The company,s ... ophthalmology, urology, sinus and integrative medicine.  Imprimis dispenses ... facilities located in California , ... Jersey and Pennsylvania.  For more information ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... NEW YORK , Nov. 24, 2015  Eyewear brand ... sunglasses in collaboration with U2 lead singer and activist Bono ... campaign to prevent vision impairment and blindness in more than ... --> Revo will donate $10 from the sale ... Visibility" collection, up to a total of $10 million to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Xencor, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... antibodies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, asthma and ... Dahiyat , Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, will ... , 2015 Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference Date: Tuesday, December ... New York, NY     , Oppenheimer ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: