Eczema increases 6% a year

Eczema incidence in England has risen by 6% annually in recent years, UK research has found.

Photograph: Istock/ken roberts
Photograph: Istock/ken roberts

Incidence of the condition rose from 9.58 per 1,000 person-years in 2001 to 13.58 in 2005, an increase of over 40%.

Over the same period, GP consultations increased by 7% and nurse consultations rose by 33%.

Eczema is now one of the most common chronic conditions, the researchers commented.

Continuing monitoring of incidence trends is therefore important, they said.

The reasons for the increase are as yet unclear, they added.

'Whether these findings reflect a genuine increase in the incidence of eczema, improved awareness, diagnosis and recording in primary care, or, perhaps most plausibly, a combination of genuine increases and improved identification and recording, is a question with important public health implications and one therefore that warrants detailed further enquiry,’ they said.

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