Atopic dermatitis (AD) is associated with multiple potential risk factors for obesity and high blood pressure (BP), including chronic inflammation, sleep disturbance, and mental health comorbidity. Previous studies found associations between general obesity and AD. However, it is unknown whether AD is associated with central obesity and/or high BP.
To determine whether central obesity and high BP are increased in pediatric AD.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This case-control study performed in multicenter pediatric dermatology practices in the United States recruited 132 children (age range, 4-17 years) with active moderate to severe AD and 143 healthy controls from April 1, 2009, through December 31, 2012.
Diagnosis and severity of AD assessed by a pediatric dermatologist.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Body mass index, waist circumference, waist to height ratio, systolic BP, and diastolic BP.
Moderate to severe AD was associated with body mass index for age and sex of 97th percentile or greater (logistic regression; odds ratio [OR], 2.64; 95% CI, 1.15-6.06), International Obesity Task Force obesity cutoffs (OR, 2.38; 95% CI, 1.06-5.34), waist circumference in the 85th percentile or greater (OR, 3.92; 95% CI, 1.50-10.26), and waist to height ratio of 0.5 or greater (OR, 2.22; 95% CI, 1.10-4.50). Atopic dermatitis was associated with higher BP for age, sex, and height percentiles (systolic BP: OR, 2.94; 95% CI, 1.04-8.36; diastolic BP: OR, 3.68; 95% CI, 1.19-11.37), particularly a systolic BP in the 90th percentile or higher (OR, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.09-3.90), in multivariate models that controlled for demographics, body mass index and waist circumference percentiles, and history of using prednisone or cyclosporine. Atopic dermatitis was associated with higher systolic BP in Hispanics/Latinos (general linear model; β, .23; 95% CI, .04-.43) and Asians (β, .16; 95% CI, .03-.30). Severe to very severe AD was associated with systolic BP in the 90th percentile or higher (adjusted OR, 3.14; 95% CI, 1.13-8.70). Atopic dermatitis was associated with a family history of hypertension (adjusted OR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.14-3.10) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (adjusted OR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.02-2.68) but not obesity or hyperlipidemia.
Conclusions and Relevance
Moderate to severe pediatric AD may be associated with central obesity and increased systolic BP.