Background. In recent decades, the prevalence of atopic dermatitis (AD) has risen steadily, and risk factors for AD are currently being investigated worldwide. In Argentina, there are no available data on risk factors of AD.
Aim. To determine the prevalence of and any gender predilection for AD, and to identify familial and environmental factors that are associated with increased AD risk.
Methods. In this case–control cross sectional study, 603 children aged 12–60 months old from a poor urban community in Buenos Aires were recruited. AD was defined following UK Working Party Diagnostic Criteria. We evaluated the relationship between AD and the presence of family history of atopy, > 5 family members, wearing synthetic clothes, having a carpeted room, eating ≥ 3 eggs/week, tobacco smoking indoors by family members, and living< 300 m from a main road, polluted stream or industry.
Results. The prevalence of AD was 41.1% (95% CI 37.2–45.2%). Logistic regression analysis showed that AD was significantly associated only with a family history of atopy (OR = 5.7; 95% CI 3.7–8.8%; P = 0.0000), wearing synthetic clothes (OR = 2.2; 95% CI 1.4–3.5; P = 0.0009), having a carpeted room OR = 1.9; 95% CI 1.2–3.0%; P = 0.009) and living < 300 m from an industry (OR = 1.93; 95% CI 1.2–3.1%; P = 0.0051).
Conclusion. We found a high prevalence of AD in our study population. Not all the investigated risk factors for AD had a significant association with the disease.