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Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2007 Jun;62(3):235-42.

Quality of life is severely compromised in adult patients with atopic dermatitis in Brazil, especially due to mental components.

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Dermatology Department, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.



to measure the quality of life (QoL), either by a specific dermatology or generic self applied questionnaire, in Atopic dermatitis adult Brazilian patients, looking for selected affected groups.


We studied the quality of life of 75 Brazilian ambulatory adults with atopic dermatitis using two types of self-answered instruments: a quality of life generic questionnaire (SF-36) and a 10-item Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) questionnaire. All patients had been treated for at least 6 months, and their disease status was determined by Eczema Area and Severity Index scores.


Quality of life and disease control were found to be related but with low scores both in DLQI (r(2)=0.26) and in SF-36 (r(2)=0.20), but with greater correlation for SF-36 mental components. Using the 75% percentile distribution of SF36 mean score and the 75% value of disease severity score, we sorted patients into four groups: I, referring good QoL and mild atopic disease (14/75), II, referring bad QoL and with mild atopic disease (19/75), III referring good QoL despite severe atopic disease (5/75) and IV referring bad QoL and severe atopic disease (37/75); all groups presented similar age, education, family income and time of disease progression. There was a higher frequency of women in group II, but without sleep disturbance or increased pruritus, which was present in group IV, with intense itching and sleep disturbances. Analyzing the physical or mental components of the SF36 generic test, discrepant groups II and III presented higher differences related to the mental components of the test, which was also related to DLQI scores, with a similar distribution for the 2 groups and a higher relation to the mental component of the generic test.


The quality of life is affected in adult atopic patients, both related to disease severity and also to mental components, but with diverse effects in patient subgroups. Our data show some components that may mask the exact relationship between QoL results and disease severity.

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