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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 73  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 171--175

A mixed longitudinal study of physical growth in children with atopic dermatitis

1 Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, BLDEA's SBMP Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre, Bijapur, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
3 Department of Pediatrics, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sanjeev Handa
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.32740

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Background: Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, relapsing disorder associated with significant morbidity. Growth retardation is known to occur in children affected with atopic dermatitis. However, there is not enough Indian data for this disorder. Aims: We conducted a longitudinal study to look for the effect of atopic dermatitis on growth attainment of Indian preschool children. Methods: The growth patterns of 62 children, aged 3-5 years and suffering from atopic dermatitis were studied in terms of body weight, height and head circumference. Sixty-eight normal healthy children matched for age, sex and socioeconomic status were taken as controls. Every child was followed up at intervals of three months following a mixed longitudinal study design for the duration of one year. Severity of the disease was determined by the scoring atopic dermatitis (SCORAD) index. Results: Growth velocities were lower in patients than in controls. Mean changes in body weight of patients of both sexes showed close similarity to controls. Mean values for height and head circumference were found to be significantly lower in girls than in the girls of the control group at majority of the age levels. In contrast, in boys, these values for the patients remained comparable or higher than in the boys of the control group at some of the ages. Girls had comparatively more severe disease than boys and they had lower values than boys for all the growth parameters assessed. Conclusion: Growth retardation was observed among children with a more severe form of the disease. Height of the affected children was compromised mostly, though a tendency for catch-up growth was observed. Severe forms of atopic dermatitis may impair a child's linear growth temporarily.


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Online since 15th March '04
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