Real-world treatment patterns for atopic dermatitis in South Korea

Ji Hyun Lee, Ahhyung Choi, Yunha Noh, In Sun Oh, Ja Young Jeon, Hyun Jeong Yoo, Ju Young Shin, Sang Wook Son

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The phenotypes of atopic dermatitis (AD) are diverse, and ethnic differences have been suggested. To date, few studies have explored large-scale national data on the treatment patterns of AD in Asians. Therefore, we aimed to examine real-world treatment patterns for AD, including the probability of discontinuation of AD treatment and restart after discontinuation. A retrospective observational study was conducted using the nationwide healthcare database in South Korea between January 1, 2016 to July 31, 2020. We identified 944,559 pediatric patients and 1,066,453 adults with AD. Topical corticosteroids and antihistamines were the most commonly prescribed medications in all age groups. The frequency of topical corticosteroid prescription decreased as the age increased. Although immunosuppressive drugs were not widely used in both children and adults, cyclosporine was the most frequently prescribed immunosuppressant, particularly among those aged 12 years or more (1–2%). Pediatric patients were more likely to discontinue treatment than adult patients. Treatment restart for moderate-to-severe AD was earlier than that for overall AD. In conclusion, significant differences were observed in the treatment patterns of AD between pediatric and adult patients. These findings will improve our understanding of the latest treatment patterns for AD, which may contribute to decision-making in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13626
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Korea Ltd.

Funding Information:
This study used HIRA research data (M20200911753) made by Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service(HIRA). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the HIRA and the MOHW. We thank the Health Insurance Review and Assessment (HIRA) service of South Korea for providing data in the HIRA database.

Funding Information:
Ja-Young Jeon and Hyun-Jeong Yoo are employees and shareholders of Pfizer Inc. No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article are reported. Ju-Young Shin received grants from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the National Research Foundation of Korea, and pharmaceutical companies, including Daiichi Sankyo, GSK, and Pfizer, outside the submitted work. The other authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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