Background: Hereditary factors contribute to atopic dermatitis (AD) development. We developed the reverse blot hybridization assay (REBA) kit to simultaneously detect variations in skin barrier- and immune response-related genes prevalent in Korean AD patients. Objective: To identify genetic variations and clinical characteristics that could predict early AD development. Methods: We compared AD-related genetic variations between early-onset AD subjects and non-AD controls, and clinical characteristics and genetic variations between early- and late-onset AD subjects. We compared 28 early-onset AD subjects and 57 non-AD controls from a birth cohort and 108 early- (age ≤3 years) and 90 late-onset AD subjects and 189 non-AD controls from a university hospital. Genetic variations were detected via REBA. Results: There were no differences in AD-related genetic variation between early-onset AD subjects and non-AD controls in the birth cohort. When the birth cohort and hospital populations were combined, early-onset AD subjects and non-AD controls showed different frequencies of genetic variations of KLK7, SPINK5 1156, DEFB1, IL5RA, IL12RB1a, and IL12RB1b. No differences in the frequency of genetic variations were observed between early- and late-onset AD subjects. Immuno-globulin E positivity for house dust mites was prevalent in late-onset AD subjects. A family history of atopic diseases was associated with early-onset AD. Conclusion: No AD-related genetic variations could predict early AD development in Koreans, even though neonates with a family history of atopic diseases are likely to develop AD at ≤3 years of age. Environmental exposure may be more important than genetic variation in determining the onset age of AD.
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