Epidemiology of Childhood AD in Asian Countries
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There have been many reported studies regarding the prevalence of childhood atopic dermatitis in Asia. The first large-scale worldwide investigation was the ISAAC Phase I study reported by Williams et al., who reported that the prevalence of atopic dermatitis in Asian countries, except for Japan, is lower than that of European countries. Moreover, they showed that symptoms of atopic eczema exhibit wide variations in prevalence both within and between countries inhabited by similar ethnic groups; they thus suggested that environmental factors may be critical for disease expression. These factors may be partially explained by “hygiene hypothesis,” which suggests that infections, especially during childhood, can protect against allergic diseases. This indicates that the clean environment in developed countries promotes the increase of allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis.
In recent years, Asian countries have been rapidly developing. The aim of this chapter it is to report the transition of prevalence of atopic dermatitis among children (age 6–15 years) in Asian countries. The previously reported data indicate that the prevalence rate in the Asia-Pacific region is high and increasing, in the Eastern Mediterranean area is low and increasing, and in the South Asia region is low and has not changed.
KeywordsAtopic dermatitis Prevalence Childhood Asia
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