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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 13 (2006), Issue 2-4, Pages 395-399

Prevalence of Atopic Dermatitis Among Children Under 19 in an East-Hungarian Agricultural County

11st Pediatric Institute, Pediatrics of Svabhegy, Semmelweis University, 6. Martonhegyi str, Budapest 1121, Hungary
2Department of Dermatology, Nyiregyhaza Hospital, 68. Szent Istvan str, Nyíregyháza 4400, Hungary
3Department of Dermatology, Medical and Health Science Center, University of Debrecen, 98. Nagyerdei krt, Debrecen 4012, Hungary

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The prevalence of atopic dermatitis has significantly increased in developed countries during the past several decades. Surveys performed in Hungary also show a growing number of atopic dermatitis (AD) cases, although, a carefully designed case-controlled studies have not been performed. Therefore, we investigated the prevalence of AD in individuals under 19 years of age within the agricultural area of East-Hungary. Combined data obtained with Schultz-Larsen questionnaire on 1158 children were analyzed, and 25% of the index persons were examined by dermatologist. The mean prevalence of AD determined by questionnaires appeared to be 17.5% in the entire study population. Result of dermatological examination verified the validity and sensitivity of the questionnaire. A negative correlation was found between the severity of the disease and the length of breast feeding period. (Spearman's correlation coefficient = − 0.2247, p = 0.034). The prevalence of AD in an East-Hungarian agricultural area is nearly as high as that reported for populations residing in industrially developed countries, with a higher prevalence during childhood. Data suggest that premature abruption of breast feeding maybe one of the major factors among other environmental factors that is contributing to the development of AD.