Association of atopic dermatitis with being overweight and obese: A systematic review and metaanalysis

April Zhang, Jonathan I. Silverberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


Background Previous studies found conflicting results about whether atopic dermatitis (AD) is associated with overweight/obesity. Objective We sought to examine the relationship between AD and overweight/obesity by performing a systematic review and metaanalysis. Methods Observational studies of the relationship between AD and overweight/obesity were selected from PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library. The quality of evidence was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Fixed and random effects metaanalyses were performed to estimate pooled odds ratios (ORs). Sensitivity analyses were performed that compared results by location of study, study quality, and between studies in children and adults. Results In total, 30 studies were included for review. Patients who were overweight (Cochrane-Mantel-Haenszel [CMH] OR, 1.27 [95% confidence interval {CI}: 1.19-1.36]; random effects OR, 1.23 [95% CI: 1.11-1.41]), obese (CMH OR, 1.68 [95% CI: 1.54-1.84]; random effects OR, 1.47 [95% CI: 1.21-1.79]), or overweight/obese (CMH OR, 1.42 [95% CI: 1.34-1.50]; random effects OR, 1.31 [95% CI: 1.16-1.48]) had higher odds of AD than normal weight patients. In sensitivity analyses, children who were overweight (random effects OR, 1.24 [95% CI: 1.08-1.43]), obese (random effects OR, 1.44 [95% CI: 1.12-1.86]), or overweight/obese (random effects OR, 1.32 [95% CI: 1.15-1.51]) and adults who were obese (random effects OR, 1.56 [95% CI: 1.24-1.95]) or overweight/obese (random effects OR, 1.29 [95% CI: 1.05-1.59]) had higher odds of AD. The association remained significant in North America and Asia but not Europe. Limitations Most studies were cross-sectional. Conclusions Overweight/obesity in North America and Asia is associated with an increased prevalence of AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)606-616.e4
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Key words adiposity
  • atopic dermatitis
  • body mass index
  • eczema
  • metaanalysis
  • obesity
  • overweight
  • prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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