Age-dependent Distribution of Atopic Dermatitis in Primary Care: A Nationwide Population-based Study from Finland
Keywords:Atopic dermatitis, age, primary care, population-based study
The burden of atopic dermatitis (AD) appears to be increasing in adult and elderly patients. The aim of this study was to analyse the nationwide database of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare regarding the number of patients with AD and of general practitioner consultations in Finland during 2018. The database comprised the main diagnoses of all visits to public primary healthcare. There were 2,094,673 primary care patients (males/females 43.19/56.81%) and 20,905 patients with AD (1.00%) and 24,180 consultations due to AD (0.45%). The highest numbers of patients with AD were in the age groups 0–14 years (9,922 patients, 47.46%) and 15–65 years (9,144 patients, 43.74%). A substantial proportion of patients with AD were aged > 50 years (3,515 patients, 16.81%) or >65 years (1,947 patients, 9.31%). Regression analysis indicated a statistically significant association of age group with patient numbers (p = 0.032) and number of consultations (p = 0.030). There were no differences between direct age group comparisons (p = 0.303), sex (p = 0.389), or number of consultations/patient (p = 0.235). Patients with AD are prevalent in all age groups in Finnish primary care. Patient numbers were also relatively high in groups other than childhood, indicating that age-related distribution in primary care may be shifting to older ages.
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