OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate both atopic and non-atopic comorbid symptoms and diseases in children with physician-diagnosed atopic disorders (atopic eczema, asthma and allergic rhinitis).METHODS: All children aged 0-18 years listed in a nationwide primary care database (the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research-Primary Care Database) with routinely collected healthcare data in 2014 were selected. Children with atopic disorders were matched on age and gender with non-atopic controls within the same general practice. A total of 404 International Classification of Primary Care codes were examined. Logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the associations between the presence of atopic disorders and (non-)atopic symptoms and diseases by calculating ORs.RESULTS: Having one of the atopic disorders significantly increased the risk of having other atopic-related symptoms, even if the child was not registered as having the related atopic disorder. Regarding non-atopic comorbidity, children with atopic eczema (n=15 530) were at significantly increased risk for (infectious) skin diseases (OR: 1.2-3.4). Airway symptoms or (infectious) diseases (OR: 2.1-10.3) were observed significantly more frequently in children with asthma (n=7887). Children with allergic rhinitis (n=6835) had a significantly distinctive risk of ear-nose-throat-related symptoms and diseases (OR: 1.5-3.9). Neither age nor gender explained these increased risks.CONCLUSION: General practitioners are not always fully aware of relevant atopic and non-atopic comorbidity. In children known to have at least one atopic disorder, specific attention is required to avoid possible insufficient treatment and unnecessary loss of quality of life.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Epidemiology, Paediatrics, Primary Care
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018091, hdl.handle.net/1765/109298
Journal BMJ Open
Citation
Pols, D.H.J, Bohnen, A.M, Nielen, M.M.J. (Mark M J), Korevaar, J.C. (Joke C.), & Bindels, P.J.E. (2017). Risks for comorbidity in children with atopic disorders: an observational study in Dutch general practices. BMJ Open, 7(11). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018091