Using linked electronic health data to improve eczema diagnosis and outcomes

Year of award: 2016


  • Dr Sinéad Langan

    London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Project summary

Eczema affects 5.8 million people in England, with 20% of children and up to 10% of adults affected – and this is becoming more common globally. Eczema is associated with major discomfort, stress and stigma and incurs significant healthcare costs. Eczema is commonly categorised into allergic and non-allergic subgroups, also known as phenotypes. It is clear that this separation is too simplistic. This poor categorisation of eczema subgroups limits our understanding of the causes, best treatments and our ability to predict future outcomes for patients. Recent studies also suggest that eczema may be associated with major health and social problems, including heart disease although the studies are small, lack important information or cannot assess timing.

I will use international health data to investigate the linked but distinct themes. I will use novel data and approaches to identify eczema subgroups. This work will help us target current and new treatments and predict long-term outcomes for patients. I will also assess the associations between eczema and major health-related problems (death, heart disease, and cancer), psychosocial, economic and social problems, such as depression, anxiety, reduced educational attainment/ income, marriage/partnership rates.

This work will inform the long-term care of patients with eczema.