Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Starting from scratch

08.09.2010
Choice of career is a major risk factor for persistent neurodermatitis

A child who can’t stop scratching himself may well be suffering from atopic dermatitis, also known as neurodermatitis. Extreme irritability of the skin with a concomitant urge to scratch is typical of the disorder.

The condition often appears during the first year of life and is on the increase in industrialized countries. The patient’s skin becomes hypersensitive and reacts strongly to even mild irritation. A research team led by LMU’s Dr. Astrid Peters and Professor Katja Radon has just published a longitudinal study which monitored the course of the disease in almost 4000 subjects from early childhood to adulthood.

The participants also supplied information regarding atopic reactions and occupational exposure to possible sensitizing agents. “Based on the data we obtained, we developed a probabilistic model that can predict the progress of the disorder during puberty, a phase which is often critical”, says Radon. “It emerged that the most important risk factor for adolescents is occupational exposure to substances such as flour or disinfectants. These results have significant implications for patient care, particularly with respect to their career choices.” (Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology online, 07 September 2010)

Neurodermatitis is very stressful, both for young patients and for their parents. The chronic irritability of nerve endings in the skin associated with the condition can cause young children to scratch until they bleed, which in turn may lead to infection of the inflamed skin. Atopic eczema, the medical term for neurodermatitis, is classified as an allergic disorder. The condition most likely results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Cigarette smoke and household dust are among the factors associated with the disease, while contact with siblings or other children reduces risk. The incidence of atopic eczema among children in developed nations is steadily increasing, and some estimates put it as high as 20% in Europe.

Neurodermatitis may become manifest in infancy, but often clears up as children get older. In some cases, the disorder resolves itself during early adolescence whereas, in other individuals, puberty markedly exacerbates the condition. “It is known that a patient’s choice of career is one factor that plays a role“, explains Radon, “but there was no way to predict how the disorder might progress as patients got older. We have re-evaluated data from several previous studies on asthma and allergies, which has allowed us to obtain a general picture of the course of atopic dermatitis during puberty, to identify exacerbating factors – and to model its development in individual cases.“

Data on almost 4000 subjects were analyzed in the study, which was financed by the Federal Ministry for Employment and Social Welfare and the Federal Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. The onset and progression of atopic dermatitis in a follow-up patient cohort at 9-11 and 16-20 years was compared, and factors associated with primary manifestation, re-emergence or maintenance of a pre-existing condition during adolescence were assessed. In about 7% of the participants, atopic dermatitis first appeared during this phase, with girls being at higher risk of developing the condition during their teenage years. Conversely, boys were overrepresented among younger patients. As expected, the chance of developing neurodermatitis increased significantly if a close relative suffered from the disorder.

“Children who were breast-fed, have siblings and attended kindergarten tend not to develop the condition in early childhood”, says Peters. “Strikingly, these factors have much less effect on risk for the late-onset form. Occupational exposure to irritating substances seems to be the only predisposing factor of major significance in cases of late-onset neurodermatitis.“ Groups that are at increased risk include bakers, cleaners and nurses. “Even short-term exposure to the chemicals one encounters in these settings can have a negative effect“, Peters points out. “Allergologists should take these findings into account when dispensing career counseling to young patients or adolescents at risk for neurodermatitis.“ (suwe)

Publication:
„Prediction of incidence, recurrence and persistence of atopic dermatitis in adolescence: a prospective cohort study“,
Astrid S. Peters et al.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology online, 07 September 2010, Vol. 126, Issue 3, Pages 590-595.e3
Contact:
Dr. Astrid S. Peters
Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Workgroup
Institute and Outpatient Clinic of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine
Phone: +49 89 / 5160 – 2372
Fax: +40 89 / 5160 – 4954
Email: astrid.peters@med.uni-muenchen.de
and sekretariat-radon@med.uni-muenchen.de

Luise Dirscherl | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lmu.de
http://www.klinikum.uni-muenchen.de/Arbeits-und-Umweltepidemiologie-Netteaching/en/index.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht Flexible sensors can detect movement in GI tract
11.10.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study suggests oysters offer hot spot for reducing nutrient pollution

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

17.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

World first for reading digitally encoded synthetic molecules

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>