FRIDAY, May 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Adults with severe atopic eczema are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online May 23 in The BMJ.

Richard J. Silverwood, Ph.D., from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and colleagues conducted a population-based matched cohort study involving adults with a diagnosis of atopic eczema matched to up to five patients without atopic eczema (387,439 and 1,528,477 patients, respectively). Patients were followed for a median of 5.1 years.

The researchers found that patients with atopic eczema had evidence of a 10 to 20 percent increased hazard for the non-fatal primary cardiovascular outcomes. A strong dose-response relation was seen with atopic eczema severity. Patients in the severe atopic eczema group had increased risks of stroke (hazard ratio, 1.22), myocardial infarction (hazard ratio, 1.41), unstable angina (hazard ratio, 1.48), atrial fibrillation (hazard ratio, 1.38), cardiovascular death (hazard ratio, 1.38), and heart failure (hazard ratio, 1.69). The risk of cardiovascular outcomes was greater for patients with the most active atopic eczema (active >50 percent of follow-up). The point estimates were partially attenuated by additional adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors; the correlations persisted for severe atopic asthma.

“Targeting cardiovascular disease prevention strategies among these patients should be considered,” the authors write.

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