From the Journals

Atopic dermatitis doubles risk of mental health issues in children



Mental health assessments recommended

Others who have looked at the relationship between AD and depression have also recommended adding mental health outcomes to an assessment of efficacy for AD therapies.

Jonathan I. Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH, associate professor of dermatology, George Washington University, Washington, is one such investigator. He is already monitoring depression systematically with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).

 Jonathan I. Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH, director of clinical research in the department of dermatology at George Washington University, Washington,

Dr. Jonathan I. Silverberg

“HADS has been validated in AD and provides very important information about the emotional burden of AD,” explained Dr. Silverberg, whose most recent article on this topic appeared earlier this year. In that study, the relationship between AD and depression was found to be more pronounced in White children from families with lower incomes.

“Just a few hours ago, one of my patients thanked me for asking about their mental health and recognizing the holistic effects of AD,” Dr. Silverberg said.

The recent study based on ALSPAC data add to the evidence that AD, particularly severe AD, produces deleterious effects on mental health in children, and Dr. Silverberg believes clinicians should be acting on this evidence.

“I strongly encourage clinicians to routinely assess mental health. It will elevate the quality of care they provide, and their patients will appreciate them more for it,” he said.

Dr. Abuabara and another author report receiving research funding from Pfizer to their universities for unrelated work; there were no other disclosures. Dr. Silverberg reports financial relationships with more than 15 pharmaceutical companies.


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