Objective: To review the current state of the literature regarding the socioeconomics of atopic dermatitis (AD)—more specifically how socioeconomic status (SES) affects AD risk and how the presence of AD may affect one's SES—as well as discuss the cost of the disease to society. Data Sources: A PubMed search was performed to include English-language articles with the keywords atopic dermatitis, cost, finances, economic, income, career, socioeconomic, with preference to those written in the last 5 years. Study Selections: Studies were included if they provided information pertaining to socioeconomics in relation to disease severity, disease incidence, direct costs, indirect costs, and effects on work, education, and career choice. Results: Many studies have reported that higher SES is associated with increased AD prevalence, whereas lower SES is associated with increased AD severity. Regardless of patient SES, AD creates substantial direct costs that affect the patient, patient's family, and the payer. Additionally, the effects of the disease create indirect costs from absenteeism and presenteeism, as well as opportunity costs from hinderances in learning, affecting patient SES and the economy. Conclusion: Given the substantial and growing burden on the patient and the economy when access to appropriate treatment is limited, the socioeconomic burden of AD represents a tangible public health concern that must be addressed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine