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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 43, n° 4
pages 649-655 (octobre 2000)
Doi : 10.1067/mjd.2000.107773
accepted : 28 Mars 2000
The prevalence of atopic dermatitis in Oregon schoolchildren

Diane Laughter, MPH a, Joseph A. Istvan, PhD b, Susan J. Tofte, RN, BSN c, Jon M. Hanifin, MD c
Portland, Oregon 
From the Washington County Tobacco Prevention Programa; and the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicineb and the Department of Dermatology,c Oregon Health Sciences University 


Background: Although surveys from many parts of the world have shown that the prevalence of atopic dermatitis (AD) in schoolchildren has increased greatly in the past 40 years, there is no current prevalence information from the United States. Objective: Our objective was to investigate the utility of a recently developed European questionnaire to estimate the prevalence of AD in urban and rural Oregon schoolchildren. Methods: The self-administered Schultz-Larsen questionnaire (SLQ) of AD symptoms and history was completed by the parents of a broad socioeconomic and ethnic mix of 5- to 9-year-old schoolchildren from 6 urban and 2 rural elementary schools in Oregon. Validation assessments included comparisons of the questionnaire scores with clinical examination in a group of age-matched children and with specific history components known to correlate with AD. Results: Data showed a prevalence of 17.2% using standard scoring criteria for the SLQ and with a lower limit of 6.8% according to highly stringent criteria derived from the validation study using dermatologic examination. A single question (“Has a doctor ever said that your child has eczema?”) was highly concordant with the questionnaire determination, yielding very high predictive accuracy (91.2%). Conclusion: This study of childhood AD frequency indicates a high prevalence of AD in the United States, comparable to that recently observed from studies in Europe and Japan. (J Am Acad Dermatol 2000;43:649-55.).

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

 Supported by a generous grant from Procter & Gamble through the National Eczema Association for Science and Education.
 Reprint requests: Jon M. Hanifin, MD, Oregon Health Sciences University, Department of Dermatology L468, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd, Portland, OR 97201-3098. E-mail:
 J Am Acad Dermatol 2000;43:649-55.

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