Burden of Sleep and Fatigue in US Adults with Atopic Dermatitis

Sherry H. Yu, Hrayr Attarian, Phyllis Zee, Jonathan I. Silverberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


Background Intense itch associated with atopic dermatitis (AD) can negatively impact sleep. However, the nature of sleep disturbance and fatigue in AD has not been fully elucidated. Objectives The aim of this study was to determine the burden of sleep disturbance and fatigue in US adults with AD. Methods This study used a cross-sectional, questionnaire-based survey using a nationally representative sample of 5563 adults from the 2005 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Respondents were asked about history of AD, sleep disturbance, and fatigue-related instrumental activity of daily living (IADL) impairment. Results There was no significant association between having AD and having a diagnosed sleep disorder (10.44% vs 7.27%; odds ratio [OR] [95% confidence interval (CI)], 1.49 [0.84-2.64]; P = 0.23); however, respondents were more likely to report sleep disturbances to clinicians (33.38% vs 23.67%; OR [95% CI], 1.62 [1.10-2.38]; P = 0.04). In multivariate regression models controlling for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors, adults with AD had higher odds of sleep disturbances, including shorter sleep duration (adjusted OR [95% CI], 1.61 [1.16-2.25]), trouble falling asleep (adjusted OR [95% CI], 1.57 [1.10-2.24]), and early morning awakenings (adjusted OR [95% CI], 1.86 [1.24-22.78]). Those with AD also had significantly higher odds of feeling unrested and feeling too tired to perform IADLs. Conclusions United States adults with AD have significantly impaired sleep and fatigue affecting IADLs, and sleep disturbances may be underdiagnosed in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-58
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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