Background: Information about predictive factors of hand eczema is crucial for primary prevention.
Objectives: To investigate predictive factors of hand eczema in adult Danes from the general population.
Methods: Participants from a cross-sectional 5-year follow-up study in the general population, aged 18-72 years (n = 2270), completed questionnaires about skin health and were grouped into four hand eczema groups: 'never', 'incident', 'nonpersistent' and 'persistent'. Multiple logistic regression models adjusted for age group and sex were used to evaluate associations with baseline variables. The participation rate for the follow-up study was 66·5% (29·7% of the participants originally invited to the baseline study).
Results: A history of atopic dermatitis (AD) was associated with both persistent and incident hand eczema [odds ratio (OR) 9·0, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 5·6-14·4 and OR 3·0, 95% CI 1·7-5·2, respectively]. Thus, even in adulthood, a history of AD should be considered as a predictor of incident hand eczema. While filaggrin gene (FLG) null mutations were not associated with incident hand eczema, a statistically significant association was observed with persistent hand eczema (OR 3·1, 95% CI 1·8-5·2). Finally, contact sensitization (23 allergens without nickel) was also associated with persistent hand eczema (OR 2·5, 95% CI 1·2-5·0), independently of a history of AD.
Conclusions: This study confirms a history of AD as the strongest predictor of persistent hand eczema. We additionally found that a history of AD was associated with incident hand eczema in adults, in contrast to FLG mutations, which were associated only with persistent hand eczema in individuals with a history of AD, and not with incident hand eczema. Our study adds new knowledge to the interplay between AD, FLG mutations and hand eczema in the adult general population.
© 2016 British Association of Dermatologists.