Association of atopic dermatitis with depressive symptoms and suicidal behaviors among adolescents in Korea: the 2013 Korean Youth Risk Behavior Survey.BMC Psychiatry. 2017 01 03; 17(1):3.BP
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic skin disease which has been known to negatively influence the mental health of patients. However, only a few studies have explored the prevalence of psychiatric problems among AD patients, particularly among adolescents. In this study, we aimed to assess the association of AD with depressive symptoms and suicidal behaviors among adolescents by analyzing data from the 2013 Korean Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a nationwide web-based survey.
Data from 72,435 adolescent middle and high school students in Korea were analyzed. Students self-reported AD diagnosed by a doctor and yes-or-no answers to questions about depressive symptoms and suicide ideation, suicide planning, and suicide attempts were analyzed. Relationships between AD and depressive symptoms or suicidal behaviors were tested by logistic regression models after controlling for potential confounding factors.
The proportion of adolescents who had AD was 6.8%. The proportion of adolescents reporting depressive feelings was 31.0%, suicide ideation was 16.3%, suicide planning was 5.8%, and suicide attempts was 4.2%. Compared to adolescents without AD, adolescents with AD were significantly more likely to experience depressive feelings (odds ratio [OR]: 1.27, 95% confidence interval [Cl]: 1.19-1.36), suicide ideation (OR: 1.34, 95% Cl: 1.24-1.45), suicide planning (OR: 1.46, 95% Cl: 1.32-1.65), and suicide attempts (OR: 1.51, 95% Cl: 1.33-1.72). In the multivariate model, the relationships between AD and suicide ideation (OR: 1.26, 95% Cl:1.16-1.36), suicide planning (OR: 1.28, 95% Cl:1.14-1.44), and suicide attempt (OR: 1.29, 95% Cl:1.13-1.49) were statistically significant.
Adolescents who have AD are associated with a higher prevalence of depression symptoms and suicidal behaviors. Adolescent AD patients may need interventions from clinicians and caregivers that use a holistic approach to prevent psychological comorbidities, although further research is needed to clarify this relationship.