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Atopic eczema and cardiovascular disease

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 23 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2064
  1. John R Ingram, senior lecturer and consultant dermatologist
  1. Dermatology and Academic Wound Healing, Division of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK
  1. Correspondence to: J R Ingram ingramjr{at}

Eczema joins the list of inflammatory conditions linked to CV risk

There is growing evidence that people with severe chronic inflammatory diseases may be at higher risk of cardiovascular (CV) disease, independent of more traditional CV risk factors. Population based studies using primary care databases have demonstrated higher CV risk associated with rheumatoid arthritis,12 psoriatic arthritis not prescribed a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug,2 and severe psoriasis.2 However, the subject remains controversial with conflicting evidence.3 Some of the ongoing uncertainty may be due to a dose-response effect—increased CV risk is confined to those with severe inflammation.

Previous evidence regarding the risk of CV disease in patients with atopic eczema has been inconsistent.45 In a linked article, Silverwood and colleagues (doi:10.1136/bmj.k1786) report a study using the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) to investigate CV risk in 387 439 UK adults with atopic eczema, matched by age, sex, and location to 1 528 477 controls.6 Moderate disease severity was defined by receipt of …

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