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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1999 Apr;40(4):597-602.

The cumulative incidence of atopic dermatitis in the first 12 months among Chinese, Vietnamese, and Caucasian infants born in Melbourne, Australia.

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The University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine (Dermatology), St Vincent's Hospital, Australia.



Atopic dermatitis (AD), a disease with both inherited and environmental components determining its clinical expression, has been reported to be more frequent in people of Asian origin.


Our purpose was to compare the 12-month cumulative incidence of AD in Caucasian, Chinese, and Vietnamese babies born in Australia.


Sixty-two Caucasian, 61 Chinese, and 59 Vietnamese babies born in Melbourne, Australia were examined soon after birth and then followed up for 12 months to assess the frequency of AD. Parental education, employment history, and housing conditions were also recorded.


AD developed in 21% of Caucasians, 44% of Chinese, and 17% of Vietnamese infants. Parents of the Chinese and Caucasian infants had similar socioeconomic and housing conditions compared with the parents of the Vietnamese infants, who tended to be of lower socioeconomic status with communal housing and lack of plush-pile carpeting.


The high incidence of AD in Chinese compared with Caucasian infants tends to reflect genetic differences between the two populations, whereas the difference in incidence between the Chinese and Vietnamese infants possibly reflects more the environmental contribution to disease expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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