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Does Eczema Increase Fracture Risk?

Eczema may be associated with an increased risk of fractures, according to the findings of a recent study.

“Limited evidence has suggested increased fracture risk in people with atopic eczema, and any link could have substantial effect,” the researchers said. “Atopic eczema is common, and fractures have associated morbidity and mortality.”

Using data of 526,808 individuals with eczema compared with 2,569,030 individuals without eczema enrolled in Clinical Practice Research Datalink GOLD from 1998 to 2016, the researchers assessed the risk of major osteoporotic fractures (hip, pelvis, spine, wrist, and proximal humerus) individually, as well as any fracture, among those with compared with those without eczema, as well as whether this risk was affected by disease severity.
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Individuals with eczema had an increased risk of hip (hazard ratio [HR] 1.10; 99% CI, 1.06-1.14), pelvic (HR 1.10; 99% CI, 1.02-1.19), spinal (HR 1.18; 99% CI, 1.10-1.27), and wrist (HR 1.07; 99% CI, 1.03-1.11) fractures, the researchers said. However, they found no evidence of increased proximal humeral fracture risk (HR 10.6; 99% CI, 0.97-1.15).

In addition, the researchers found that fracture risk increased with increasing eczema severity. Compared with individuals without eczema, individuals with severe eczema had the strongest associations for spinal (HR 2.09; 99% CI, 1.66-2.65), pelvic (HR 1.66; 99% CI, 1.26-2.20), and hip (HR 1.50; 99% CI, 1.30-1.74) fractures. These associations persisted after adjusting for oral glucocorticoid use, they added.

“People with atopic eczema have increased fracture risk, particularly major osteoporotic fractures,” the researchers concluded.

Reference

Lowe KE, Mansfield KE, Delmestri A, et al. Atopic eczema and fracture risk in adults: A population-based cohort study [published online November 19, 2019]. J Allergy Clin Immunol. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2019.09.015

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