New Study Links Atopic Dermatitis to Higher Risk of Irritable Bowel Disease

New Study Links Atopic Dermatitis to Higher Risk of Irritable Bowel Disease

September 2023

Joel Gelfand, MD, the James J. Leyden, M.D. Endowed Professor in Clinical Investigation of Dermatology and Epidemiology, and colleagues at Penn found that adults and children with atopic dermatitis (AD) are more likely to develop inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) than their peers. In a new study published in the journal JAMA Dermatology, Dr. Gelfand and his team compared data from more than 409,000 children and 625,000 adults with atopic dermatitis and compared them to more than 1.8 million children and almost 2.7 million adults without the disease. Upon analysis, the scientists reported a “statistically significant” increased risk of incident or new-onset IBD among 44% of children and 34% of adults with atopic dermatitis, compared to the control groups.

"Less work has been done with atopic dermatitis, which is a very common skin disorder, and IBD. Both atopic dermatitis and IBD are diseases with barrier dysfunction, microbiome alterations, and chronic inflammation suggesting commonalities between the two diseases,” said Dr. Gelfand in a recent interview with Medical News Today. According to Dr. Gelfand, these findings are important for better understanding the health trajectories of people with atopic dermatitis.

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