Background. Epidemiological studies have shown a strong association between systemic inflammatory diseases, particularly allergic diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. However, the relationship between atopic dermatitis (AD) and ischemic stroke remains unclear. Method. The study identified 20,323 AD patients and 20,323 comorbidity-matched subjects between 2005 and 2008. The two cohorts were followed until 31 December 2009. Ischemic stroke and other cardiovascular events were determined. Results. During the follow-up period, 301 (1.48%) patients in the AD cohort and 228 (1.12%) matched subjects experienced ischemic stroke. After multivariate adjustment, patients with AD had a 1.33-fold (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.12-1.59; P = 0.001) increased incidence of ischemic stroke. Adjusted hazard ratios for the risk of ischemic stroke in patients with mild, moderate, and severe AD were 1.20 (95% CI, 1.00-1.45; P = 0.052), 1.64 (95% CI, 1.23-2.19; P = 0.001), and 1.71 (95% CI, 1.15-2.56; P = 0.008), respectively. The log-rank test showed a higher cumulative incidence of ischemic stroke in the severe AD group than in the moderate and mild AD groups during the follow-up period (P <0.001). Conclusions. AD may be an independent risk factor for ischemic stroke, and risk of ischemic stroke increases with AD severity.
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