Background: A simple list of diagnostic criteria for atopic dermatitis for use in epidemiological studies was developed by a U.K. working party. This list served well for both hospital patients with skin diseases and in general population within the U.K. Objectives: To validate the U.K. diagnostic criteria in Japanese elementary schoolchildren, we collected the questionnaires on regular health checkups, which had been completed by parents of schoolchildren in 2001/2002 and 2004/2005. Methods: Elementary schoolchildren were examined by dermatologists in eight areas (16,152 children) in 2001/2002 and in three areas (3849 children) in 2004/2005. The questionnaire was distributed to the parents 2 weeks before the skin examination, completed by the parents and collected after the survey. Results: In 2002/2002 comparing the U.K. diagnostic criteria with the findings on clinical examination used as the reference standard, the U.K. criteria (1-year prevalence measure) showed a sensitivity of 71.8%, specificity of 89.3% and positive predictive value of 44.7%. In 2004/2005 we confirmed that the U.K. criteria for a point prevalence measure showed a higher positive predictive value (59.9%) compared with that for 1-year prevalence measure (49.3%). Conclusion: Now that we know the sensitivity and specificity of the U.K. criteria in the population examined in this study, we will be able in the near future to estimate the prevalence of atopic dermatitis in a similar population with reverse operation by questionnaires alone using these criteria without examination by dermatologists. Therefore, the validation study of U.K. criteria could be useful for future epidemiologic surveys.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology