Patients with atopic dermatitis are at significantly greater risk of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, suggests a new systematic review and meta-analysis of 15 studies.
The total number of participants in the studies included was 4 770 767; of these, 310,681 had atopic dermatitis (52.7% female) and 4,460,086 served as controls (50.9% female).
Patients with atopic dermatitis were found to have a significantly greater risk of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. These findings were most pronounced in regard to suicidal ideation. They were 44% more likely to exhibit suicidal ideation and 36% more likely to attempt suicide compared with patients who did not have atopic dermatitis.
The study highlights the high prevalence of suicide ideation and suicide risk in atopic dermatitis patients.
It also emphasizes the need for dermatologists and physicians to be aware of the increased suicide risk, when managing their patients with atopic dermatitis.
The treating doctors should screen and monitor their atopic dermatitis patients for suicidality, and refer them to a mental health professional for appropriate management.
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Immediate Past National President IMA