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Study Challenges Touted Link Between Eczema and Heart Disease

Study Challenges Touted Link Between Eczema and Heart Disease

Researcher now probing whether more severe cases of the skin disorder increase odds of heart problems

MONDAY, June 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- There's no evidence of a link between eczema and increased risk of heart disease, researchers report.

The findings challenge recent studies suggesting that people with atopic dermatitis -- a common form of the skin disease eczema -- are significantly more likely to have heart trouble.

The authors of the new study analyzed the medical records of nearly 260,000 Canadians between the ages of 30 and 74.

They found that the 7 percent with atopic dermatitis "were not at any increased risk for high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart attacks or strokes," said lead author Dr. Aaron Drucker. He's an assistant professor of dermatology at Brown University in Providence, R.I.

The study could not determine whether there might be a link between eczema severity and heart disease, Drucker said in a university news release. He added that he is now researching that.

The possibility that eczema and heart disease may be connected probably stems from a better-supported link between the skin disease psoraisis and heart disease, Drucker said.

While eczema and psoriasis are similar in some ways, they are different at the molecular level, which may be why only one appears to be linked to heart disease, he added.

The findings were published recently in the British Journal of Dermatology.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has more on atopic dermatitis (https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Atopic_Dermatitis/atopic_dermatitis_ff.asp ).

SOURCE: Brown University, news release, June 16, 2017