Prevalence, incidence and risk factors from adolescence to adulthood
BACKGROUND: Several studies have evaluated the incidence and prevalence of hand eczema in unselected adults. However, no studies have followed unselected adolescents from primary school into adult life to evaluate the course and risk factors for hand eczema. OBJECTIVES: To estimate the incidence of hand eczema from adolescence to adulthood and prevalence of hand eczema in young adults together with risk factors for hand eczema. METHODS: A cohort of 1501 unselected 8(th) grade schoolchildren was established in 1995. In 2010, 1206 young adults from the cohort were asked to complete a questionnaire and participate in a clinical examination including patch testing (TRUE(®) Test). RESULTS: The incidence of hand eczema was 8.8/1000 person-years. The one-year period prevalence of hand eczema in the young adults was 14.3% (127/891) and the point prevalence 7.1% (63/891) with significantly higher prevalence in women. At the clinical examination 6.4% (30/469) had hand eczema. Factors in childhood of importance for adult hand eczema were atopic dermatitis together with hand eczema. Wet work in adulthood was a risk factor together with taking care of small children at home. Interestingly, hand eczema among unselected young adults, was associated with sick leave/pension/rehabilitation indicating possible severe social consequences. LIMITATIONS: Only 39% participated in the clinical examination while 75% answered the questionnaire. CONCLUSIONS: A high incidence and prevalence of hand eczema was found in 28-30 years old adults and it was highly associated with childhood hand eczema and atopic dermatitis together with wet work and taking care of small children in adulthood. There was no association to smoking, education level or nickel allergy in childhood. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
British Journal of Dermatology, 2014, Vol 171, Issue 2, p. 313-323