B3790 - Atopic disease impact on later educational attainment - 03/06/2021

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Amy Mulick | London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (United Kingdom)
Ms Rita Iskandar, Professor Sinéad Langan
Title of project: 
Atopic disease impact on later educational attainment
Proposal summary: 

The global burden of atopic diseases, in particular atopic dermatitis (AD), is on the rise. While most research is focused on the medical outcomes, a more encompassing approach is needed to highlight the effect of AD on social outcomes which has implications on future interventions and social support.
1 in 5 children in the UK suffers from AD, and to date, data are rather conflicting regarding its effect on educational attainment. A previous study on Swedish men who underwent military conscription at ages 17-20 years showed an association with attending university but no significant association between AD and secondary educational attainment after adjusting for family-related factors. Another cohort study on Dutch children found no association between AD and school performance at age 11.

Since educational attainment predicts future health and wellbeing, it is important to investigate any potential association with AD. AD may impact educational performance due to a multitude of factors: itching, poor sleep efficiency, and the use of sedative antihistamines could lead to absenteeism or poor concentration. AD stigma and comorbidities could increase depression, psychological distress, and the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which may also adversely impact educational outcomes in affected children.
Additionally, neither have previous studies explored the effect of AD on exam results nor addressed the effect of the three main atopic diseases (AD, Hay fever, and Asthma) simultaneously. These diseases often co-occur, and it is important to determine the interplay and broader effect of atopic diseases on educational outcomes.

Impact of research: 
This paper will be written up for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and will likely generate some evidence to encourage further detailed research.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 19 May, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 24 May, 2021
Epidemiology, Allergy, Eczema, Statistical methods, Dermatology