Indeed, a Brown University study has revealed no connection between eczema and cardiovascular disease.
This is in contrast to previous research suggesting the skin condition was associated with an increased risk of problems involving the heart or blood vessels.
Dr. Aaron Drucker, an assistant professor of dermatology at Brown University and lead study author, said: “In our study, people who reported having atopic dermatitis were not at any increased risk for high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart attacks or strokes.”
Eczema is the term for a set of chronic skin conditions caused by inflammation.
It currently affects one in 12 adults in the UK, and cases have recently risen by 40 per cent.
Atopic dermatitis is one of the eczema’s most common forms, and it causes itchy, red, swollen, and cracked skin.
In the study, published in the British Journal of Dermatology, the researchers analysed over 250,000 medical records.
Their hypothesis – suggested by two recent studies – was that people with atopic dermatitis were significantly more likely to have various cardiovascular problems.
However, they actually discovered the skin condition was associated with a reduced risk of stroke, hypertension, diabetes and heart attack.
Importantly, this does not mean having atopic dermatitis is protective, but that it is probably just not associated with cardiovascular disease.
Drucker said: “It’s important to make this clear so it doesn’t get misinterpreted.
“Even though we found lower rates of these outcomes with atopic dermatitis, we are not interpreting that as atopic dermatitis decreasing the risk.”
Suggestions of a connection with atopic dermatitis were because of a better-substantiated link between another skin condition – psoriasis – and cardiovascular disease.
However, while the two inflammatory skin conditions share some similarities, they are actually very different at a molecular level, possibly explaining why they are both not linked to cardiovascular…