Atopic dermatitis and risk of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, myocardial infarction and stroke in a cross-sectional analysis from the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project

Br J Dermatol. 2017 Oct;177(4):1043-1051. doi: 10.1111/bjd.15727. Epub 2017 Sep 10.


Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) has been associated with cardiovascular risk factors and diseases, but epidemiological studies to date have found conflicting results.

Objectives: To determine the associations of AD with hypertension, type 2 diabetes (T2D), myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, which includes Canadian residents aged 30-74 years living in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces. We excluded participants with incomplete data on AD, hypertension, T2D, MI or stroke, who had type 1 or gestational diabetes or who developed any of the outcomes at an age prior to a diagnosis of AD. This left 259 119 participants in our analysis. We used logistic regression to calculate age- and sex-, and multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) between AD and subsequent hypertension, T2D, MI and stroke.

Results: AD was reported by 21 379 (8·4%) participants. In total, 52 787 cases of hypertension, 12 739 cases of T2D, 4390 cases of MI and 2235 cases of stroke were reported by participants at enrolment. In the multivariable-adjusted model, AD was associated with decreased odds of hypertension (OR 0·87, 95% CI 0·83-0·90), T2D (OR 0·78, 95% CI 0·71-0·84), MI (OR 0·87, 95% CI 0·75-1·00) and stroke (OR 0·79, 95% CI 0·66-0·95).

Conclusions: We did not find evidence of a positive association between AD and subsequent hypertension, T2D, MI or stroke; AD was inversely associated with these outcomes in our study. Given our findings and the conflicting literature, AD is likely not a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / complications*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / etiology*