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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1996 May;34(5 Pt 1):760-4.

The occurrence of atopic dermatitis in north Europe: an international questionnaire study.

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  • 1Dermatology Clinic, Fredericia, Denmark.



Atopic dermatitis is a common multifactorial disease that seems to be increasing in frequency.


Our purpose was to determine the increased prevalence of atopic dermatitis in North Europe.


Approximately 3000 7-year-old children in Denmark, Germany, and Sweden were enrolled in a cross-sectional questionnaire study that was conducted in the autumn of 1992 with common protocols and standardized procedures.


The response rate was 90%. The frequency of atopic dermatitis was calculated to be 15.6% (95% confidence interval 14.2% to 17%) with some regional differences. Girls more often had flexural eczema and outnumbered boys in a ratio of 1.3:1.0. Boys more often had a personal history of asthma, whereas girls more often had a family history of asthma.


The increasing prevalence of atopic dermatitis has been confirmed. This simple questionnaire model works well, is cost effective, and is sufficiently sensitive and specific to conduct large-scale epidemiologic investigations in school children.

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