Korean J Dermatol.  1996 Dec;34(6):898-907.

Epidemiologic Studies of the Prevalence of Atopic Dermatitis in Korea

  • 1Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine the Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.


BACKGROUND: Atopic dermatitis is reported to have increased recently, but the epidemiologic studies of atopic dermatitis have not been systematically performed in Korea.
The purpose of this study is to review the previous epidemiologic studies of the prevalence of atopic dermatitis in Korea and to discuss important factors in performing the systematic epidemiologic studies of atopic dermatitis.
We reviewed the Korean literature reported since the 1960s, which included 7 field surveys of atopic dermatitis and, 10 prevalence studies of common dermatologic diseases in outpatients. The literature was compared and analyzed in the view of diagnostic criteria, time/period of the studies, method of the surveys, sampling of subjects, the frequency of atopic dermatitis with age and sex distribution, seasonal variation and the secular trend.
1. No definite diagnostic criteria was presented in some studies, and in the others, Hanifin and Rajka's diagnostic criteria or its modification was used. 2. The studies were performed during a season of a year or through spring, summer; and autumn. 3. A variety of methods were employed such as the review of the medical records, the questionnaire, and a doctors physioal examination/interview. 4. Subjects in most of the studies were children under 15 years of age, and the survey area was limited to a certain city or district. 5. The frequency of atopic dermatitis ranged from 2.4% to 15.4% in field surveys and from 2.3% to 23.5% in outpatient studies. The secular trends could not be inferred directly though there is a possibility of an increasing tendency.
This review may give help to understand the present state and progression of Korean epidemiologic studies of atopic dermatitis and to plan future studies. The epidemiologic studies of atopic dermatitis should be systematically carried out with the consideration of the general factors required in the epidemiologic study and proper understanding of the specific features of atopic dermatitis.


Atopic dermatitis; Epidemidlogic studies; Korea; Prevalence

MeSH Terms

Cross-Sectional Studies
Dermatitis, Atopic*
Epidemiologic Studies*
Medical Records
Sex Distribution
Surveys and Questionnaires
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