Systematic literature review assessing the overall costs and societal impacts of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in Europe

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2022 Dec;36(12):2316-2324. doi: 10.1111/jdv.18481.


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory disease, driven by type 2 inflammation. The condition manifests as moderate-to-severe disease in approximately 20% of adults with AD across Europe and is associated with a substantial burden on patients, society and healthcare systems. However, systematic assessments capturing the totality of disease burden associated with moderate-to-severe AD are limited; therefore, the overall impacts of the disease may be underestimated. A systematic literature review (SLR) was carried out to assess the overall costs of moderate-to-severe AD across Europe, including the financial, societal and humanistic impacts. PubMed, Embase and Cochrane databases were searched to identify relevant studies published between 1 January 2010 and 2 June 2020. Scientific conference proceedings, health technology assessment websites and patient association group websites were also searched for relevant information. Twenty-seven publications, corresponding to 22 unique studies, were included in the analysis. Total costs (direct and productivity losses) reached €20 695 per-person-per-year (PPPY) for adults with uncontrolled symptoms of moderate-to-severe AD. Direct medical costs ranged between €307 and €6993 PPPY; prescription medications and specialist dermatologist visits were the main contributors. Costs increased with disease severity or with uncontrolled disease. Patients with AD also incurred personal costs of €927 per year for healthcare items not reimbursed, which increased by 9% for those with moderate-to-severe forms. Annual work productivity losses comprised most of the total costs reported for adults with moderate-to-severe AD (up to 60.8% of the total burden) and were highest in those with uncontrolled disease (€13 702 PPPY). Patients with moderate-to-severe disease also experienced physical, emotional, and social impacts. The overall costs of moderate-to-severe AD greatly impact on healthcare systems, patients and society. Sustained control of moderate-to-severe AD, through effective treatment and care management, is essential to limit the burden caused by the disease.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cost of Illness
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / drug therapy
  • Europe
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Work Performance*

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