The objective of this study was to evaluate the precise prevalence of atopic dermatitis (AD) in schoolchildren in Jeju Island in South Korea examined in 2009. Nine elementary schools were randomly selected from Jeju Island and a total of 4,028 schoolchildren were examined by a dermatologist. AD was diagnosed based on the Korean Atopic Dermatitis Research Group criteria for the disease. The severity of AD was measured with the three-item severity score (TIS). The point prevalence of AD was 9.5% overall. The prevalence among higher graders (age 9-12 years) was signifcantly lower than that in lower graders (age 6-9 years) (7.5% vs. 11.9%, p < 0.00001). AD prevalence in girls (11.1%) was higher than that in boys (8.1%) (p < 0.005). In each grade, more than 50% of those affected had the mild form (TIS score 1 or 2). There were no apparent differences in severity of AD between grades or genders. This is the first Asian study of prevalence in schoolchildren using TIS score for evaluating AD severity.
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