Eczema prevalence in China equal to that of developed countries

Cai Wenjun
As many as 13 percent of domestic children aged between one and seven suffer atopic dermatitis, almost the same as developed countries. 
Cai Wenjun

As many as 13 percent of domestic children aged between 1 and 7 suffer atopic dermatitis, almost the same as developed countries, it was discovered in the first epidemiological research on the disease that China has conducted.

Doctors from Shanghai-based Xinhua Hospital teamed up with other medical facilities to conduct research in 12 major cities, covering 13,998 children in 84 kindergartens and vaccination spots, to study the prevalence and cause of atopic dermatitis.

Previous reports estimated that only 3.07 percent of domestic children suffered from the condition, lower than the incidence in the West where prevalence of 10 to 20 percent is reported.

“We found eczema is actually atopic dermatitis, which was separated as two diseases in China,” said Dr Yao Zhirong, director of Xinhua’s Dermatology Department.

Eczema is a common disease, which usually starts to show symptoms within two years of a child's birth. Patients’ skin becomes itchy which sometimes influence their sleep and development if the condition is serious. With deterioration of the condition, children also can suffer asthma and allergic rhinitis, doctors said.

The research also found the cause of mutation of the gene filaggrin, or FLG, which is the major cause of eczema and asthma.


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