What's new in atopic eczema? An analysis of systematic reviews published in 2014. Part 1. Epidemiology, risk factors and outcomes

Clin Exp Dermatol. 2016 Dec;41(8):843-846. doi: 10.1111/ced.12977. Epub 2016 Nov 2.


This review summarizes key findings from nine systematic reviews on atopic eczema (AE) published or first indexed in 2014. It focuses on epidemiology, disease processes and methodological issues. There is reasonable evidence to conclude that high birth weight (> 4000 g) is a risk factor for the development of AE. A lower socioeconomic position is associated with lower prevalence of AE. The effect of exposure to traffic-related air pollution in childhood on the development of AE is uncertain. CD14 polymorphisms do not appear to have an effect in AE. There may be a role for interleukin-18 in AE development. Patients with AE are at decreased risk of brain tumours, but at increased risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Evidence supports the view that normal-appearing skin in AE is in fact structurally abnormal. Lower success rates at inducing remission in AE are associated with increased risk of relapse during long-term follow-up. The Eczema Area Severity Index (EASI) has been agreed as the preferred core instrument to measure clinical signs in future research. There remains a lack of consensus on the definition of an AE flare.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / etiology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-18 / genetics
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Interleukin-18
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors