People suffering from the skin disease eczema are prone to smoking, drinking and turning obese than those who do not have the disease, scientists said. They also suffer from insomnia, said a study.
These habits expose them higher to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol as well as diabetes, the team from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in the US said.
“This disease takes a huge emotional toll on its sufferers,” said lead study author Jonathan Silverberg, whose team studied data of 27,157 and 34,525 adults aged 18 to 85 years from the 2010 and 2012 National Health Interview Survey respectively.
The study found that patients with eczema had 54 % higher odds of being morbidly obese, 48 % higher odds of hypertension, up to 93 % higher odds of having pre-diabetes and up to 42 % higher odds of having diabetes. In addition, they also had 36% higher odds of high cholesterol.
Because eczema often starts in early childhood, people are affected are tend to take on to other habits that are detrimental to their health in adolescence.
“It hurts their self-esteem and identity. That is part of why we see all these negative behaviour,” Silverberg added.
Besides the eczema patients find it difficult to exercising as higher sweat and heat aggravate the itching on their skin.
“They will avoid anything that triggers the itch. Patients report their eczema flares during a workout,” Silverberg said.
Skin psecialists (dermatologists) need to ask patients about their lifestyle habits such as smoking and physical activity so they can offer viable medical interventions, suggest the authors. Their study has been published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.