Ethnicity and atopic dermatitis

While gender does not appear to affect the risk of developing atopic dermatitis, race and ethnicity have been implicated (Eichenfield et al., 2014; Kaufman et al., 2018). Studies have suggested that atopic dermatitis is more commonly observed in Asian and black individuals than white. The ISAAC study suggested that people in Africa and Oceania have a higher rate of atopic dermatitis than people from the Indian subcontinent and Northern/Eastern Europe (Odhiambo et al., 2009). Population studies in the USA support these insights with African American children having a higher prevalence of atopic dermatitis than European American children. In fact, one study suggested that after adjusting for a number of environmental and societal variables, African American children are 1.7 times more likely to develop atopic dermatitis than European American children (Shaw et al., 2011). Similar results were seen in a UK-based study where 16.3% of London-born black Caribbean children were diagnosed with atopic dermatitis versus 8.7% of white children (Williams et al., 1995).