Comorbidity in atopic dermatitis

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Topic of the dissertation

Comorbidity in atopic dermatitis

Doctoral candidate

Licentiate of Medicine Saana Kauppi

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Medicine, Research Unit of Clinical Medicine

Subject of study



Docent Maria Lönnrot, Tampere University Hospital


Docent Laura Huilaja, Oulu University Hospital

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Atopic dermatitis is associated with other disorders

Increased risk of eating disorders in atopic dermatitis patients

Patients with atopic dermatitis carry increased risk of eating disorders. This previously unreported association was found in the doctoral thesis of Saana Kauppi, Licentiate of Medicine.

Atopic dermatitis is a common skin disease. Approximately a fifth of children and a tenth of adults carry the disease. The main symptom is itch, which may disturb concentration and working ability, and cause sleeping problems. Eating disorders are mental disorders with typical onset in adolescence.

In addition to eating disorders, an association was found between atopic dermatitis and other psychiatric disorders in adults. The most common comorbid diagnoses were depression and anxiety disorders. Atopic dermatitis was also associated with schizophrenia, a rare but severe mental disorder.

Children with atopic dermatitis have increased risk of celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis

The prevalence of celiac disease is around 2% in Finland. In this disease of the gut, the body does not tolerate dietary gluten. Only a small proportion of celiac disease patients develop dermatitis herpetiformis, which causes itching blisters on typical sites on the skin. This study found markedly increased risk of celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis in pediatric atopic dermatitis patients. Since these diagnoses were infrequent in the study populations, further research on the subject is needed.
Last updated: 23.1.2024