BACKGROUND: To date, no multicenter studies have been conducted on the prevalence and clinical profile of AD in the Philippines. Since AD is one of the top 10 skin diseases seen in the outpatients departments of all the Philippine Dermatologic Society (PDS)- accredited institutions, conducting a multicenter study provides important epidemiological information about this disease and serve as a valuable reference for future studies.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence and clinical profile of patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) seen at the outpatient departments (OPD) of Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) - accredited training institutions from 2007 to 2011.
METHODS: Records of patients with a diagnosis of AD seen from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2011 were retrieved and clinical data were collected.
RESULTS: There were 744,673 dermatological consults in the 10 PDS-accredited outpatient clinics from 2007-2011. A total of 4,275 records of atopic dermatitis were reviewed for this study. The prevalence of atopic dermatitis was determined to be 0.57%. Most institutions reported a prevalence rate of less than 1% except for St. Luke's Medical Center (3.36%), and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (7.07%). More than half of the patients (65.1%) were children between 1 to 12 years old. Twenty-four percent (24%) were infants less than one year. The average age was seven years old while the youngest was one month and the oldest was 94 years old. There were more females (56.1%) than males (42.75%). Bronchial asthma was the most prevalent co-morbid medical condition. Majority of AD patients seen in institutions were newly diagnosed. Those with previous consultations were mostly seen by dermatologists and pediatricians. Moisturizers and topical corticosteroids were the most commonly used topical preparation while antihistamines followed by oral antibiotics were the commonly prescribed oral medications. Follow-up rate was low.
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of atopic dermatitis among the 10 PDS-accredited institutions is low except for SLMC and RITM. The clinical profile of patients is consistent with published literature. However, this study revealed the patient follow-up is low. This practice needs to be addressed since optimal management of this chronic disease requires close and regular follow-up to prevent complications and irrational drug use.