Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

The prevalence of atopic dermatitis beyond childhood: A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies.

  • Author(s): Abuabara, K
  • Yu, AM
  • Okhovat, J-P
  • Allen, IE
  • Langan, SM
  • et al.

Published Web Location


There are sparse and conflicting data regarding the long-term clinical course of atopic dermatitis (AD). Although often described as a childhood disease, newer population-based estimates suggest the prevalence of pediatric and adult disease may be similar.


Our objective was to determine whether there is a decline in the prevalence of AD in population-based cohorts of patients followed longitudinally beyond childhood. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis including studies assessing AD prevalence across 3 or more points in time. The primary outcome was weighted overall risk difference (percentage decrease in AD prevalence).


Of 2080 references reviewed, 7 studies with 13 515 participants were included. Participants were assessed at 3-6 time points, ranging from age 3 months to 26 years. The percentage decrease in prevalence after age 12 was 1%, which was not significantly different from zero (95% confidence interval -2%-5%). Similar results were found with other age cut-offs.


The prevalence of AD in longitudinal birth cohort studies is similar in childhood and adolescence/early adulthood.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View