Is AD a Risk factor for Suicidal Ideation?

sad woman

Patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) have an increased risk for suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, according to the findings of a recent study. 

For the systematic review and meta-analysis, the researchers searched PubMed, Embase, PyshcINFO, and Cochrane databases for observational studies published from 1946 to May 25, 2018 on atopic dermatitis and suicide attempts, suicidal ideation, and suicide. The quality of the studies was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for observational studies.  

A total of 15 studies were identified that included 310,681 patients with AD and 4,460,086 controls.

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Compared with individuals without AD, patients with AD were 44% more likely to exhibit suicidal ideation (pooled odds ratio [OR], 1.44; 95% CI 1.25-1.65) and 36% more likely to attempt suicide (pooled OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.09-1.70). However, the researchers found inconsistent results in studies assessing completed suicides among patients with AD.

“Results of this study suggest that patients with AD are at significantly increased risk of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts,” the researchers concluded. “It is important for dermatology providers to be aware of this risk, screen for suicidality in patients with AD, and make mental health referrals when necessary.”


Sandhu JK, Wu KK, Bui T, Armstrong AW. Association between atopic dermatitis and suicidality: A systematic review and meta-analysis [published online December 12, 2018]. JAMA Dermatol. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.4566