Eczema may be a risk factor for fractures

eczema increases fracture risk

Several risk factors have been identified as a cause behind fractures. These include age related osteoporosis, menopause, steroid intake for a prolonged duration, etc. However, in what comes as a surprise, scientists have found out that adult eczema may be an unrecognized risk factor for fractures. The results of the study have been published in the recent issue of JAMA Dermatology.

The study was carried out by Nitin Garg and Jonathan I. Silverberg, from Northwestern University, Chicago. The researchers studied a total of 34,500 people from around the United States including those who had a history of eczema lasting for 12 months or more. All the participants of the study belonged to the age group of 18 to 85 years. The prevalence of eczema in the study sample was 7.2% while the prevalence of any injury causing limitation was 2%. A fracture or bone or joint injury (FBJI) was seen in 1.5% of these adults while other injury causing limitation was seen in 0.6% of them.

The researchers observed that in adults with eczema, the prevalence of FBJI was highest in people between the ages of 50 and 69 years and fell down rapidly in patients who were 70 years or above. It was seen that there were several risk factors for FBJI in adults with eczema. These included sleep impairment, other coexisting psychological disorders, and use of sedative antihistamines. The researchers found out that patients with eczema, who also suffered from fatigue, daytime sleepiness or lack of sleep during night, had a higher prevalence of FBJI. It was also seen that when adults with eczema suffered from psychiatric or behavioral problems, the likelihood of developing FBJI was much higher compared to adults who suffered from eczema alone.

The researchers have opined that better treatment to contain itchiness or manage sleep problems in adults suffering from eczema can lead to a reduction in the prevalence of FBJI. They have however cautioned that further studies are required to strengthen the association between adult eczema and fractures.

Reference:

·         http://archderm.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1919437

 

Date: 
Sunday, November 30, 2014