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Papers of the Week

Papers: 13 Mar 2021 - 19 Mar 2021

Human Studies


2021 Mar 13

Arch Dermatol Res

A real-world study of the longitudinal course of itch severity and frequency in adults with atopic dermatitis.


Hong MR, Lei D, Yousaf M, Chavda R, Gabriel S, Janmohamed SR, Silverberg JI
Arch Dermatol Res. 2021 Mar 13.
PMID: 33715039.


Itch is a complex symptom that is both common and burdensome in atopic dermatitis (AD). Yet, little is known about the longitudinal course of itch in AD. A prospective, dermatology practice-based study was performed of adults with AD (n = 463). Patients were assessed at baseline and approximately 6, 12, 18 and 24 months. Itch was assessed using Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) average and worst-itch scores, and frequency of itch in the past week. Repeated-measures regression models were constructed to examine itch over time. Overall, 31.5% and 22.5% had moderate (4-6) or severe (7-10) NRS average-itch scores; 27.4% and 36.4% had moderate (4-6) or severe (7-10) NRS worst-itch scores; 12.7% and 62.0% had itch from eczema 3-4 and ≥ 5 days in the past week; 27.4% and 45.1% reported sometimes and often/almost always having itch, respectively. Among patients with baseline moderate (4-6) or severe (7-10) NRS average-itch scores, 21.2% and 16.3% continued to have moderate or severe scores at ≥ 1 follow-up visits. In repeated-measures regression models, persistent NRS average-itch scores were associated with baseline NRS average-itch [adjusted β (95% CI): 0.75 (0.68, 0.82)] and food allergy [- 0.45 (- 0.84, – 0.07)]. Persistent NRS worst-itch was associated with baseline worst-itch NRS [0.73 (0.66, 0.80)] and Medicaid insurance [1.06 (0.17, 1.94)]. AD patients had a heterogeneous longitudinal course with fluctuating and complex overlapping patterns of average- and worst-itch intensity, and frequency.