Atopic dermatitis bidirectionally linked to inflammatory bowel disease

A bidirectional relationship exists between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and atopic dermatitis (AD), results of a systematic review and meta-analysis have shown.

“Recently, AD has been suggested as a systemic inflammatory disorder that can accompany other inflammatory diseases, including IBD,” according to the investigators. “However, comprehensive reviews that specifically focus on the association between IBD and AD are lacking.”

The databases of Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library from inception to 22 November 2019 were searched for relevant studies. The investigators separately examined studies reporting IBD in patients with AD and AD in patients with IBD to determine whether a bidirectional relationship existed.

Ten studies, involving a total of 95,291,110 patients, met the inclusion criteria: four studies on the prevalence of AD in IBD, two on the prevalence and incidence of IBD in AD, and four on either the prevalence or incidence of IBD in AD.

In meta-analysis, a statistically significant association was observed between IBD and AD in both directions (four studies on AD prevalence in IBD: odds ratio [OR], 1.39, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.28–1.50; five on IBD prevalence in AD: OR, 1.35, 95 percent CI, 1.05–1.73; and three studies on IBD incidence in AD: relative risk, 1.46, 95 percent CI, 0.98–2.17).

This study, however, was limited by the small number of observational studies reviewed.

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