While several maternal exposures have been associated with an increased risk of atopic dermatitis (AD) in offspring, the effect of alcohol use during pregnancy on the risk of AD in offspring is unclear. Furthermore, it is unclear whether adults with AD have an increased alcohol use, although other poor health behaviours have been associated with AD including smoking and physical inactivity as well as psychiatric disease. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, the association between alcohol use and AD was investigated in two ways: 1) whether alcohol use (drinkers versus abstainers) during pregnancy is associated with AD in offspring and 2) whether AD is associated with increased alcohol use. The medical databases PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science were searched, and data extraction was carried out by two independent reviewers. Eighteen studies were included in the qualitative analysis (comparing alcohol drinkers to abstainers), and 12 studies were included in the quantitative analysis. There was a positive association between alcohol use during pregnancy and development of AD in offspring (pooled odds ratio [OR] 1.16; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09-1.24). However, there was no consistent association between AD in adults and adolescents and alcohol use (pooled OR 1.06; 95% CI 0.92-1.23). There is a need for future well-designed prospective studies to firmly establish the association between alcohol use and AD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1238-1245
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


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