Proteins found in standard cow’s milk formula have been associated with an increased risk of atopic dermatitis, especially in
infants with a familial predisposition towards atopy. Compared to standard cow’s milk formula, partially or extensively hydrolyzed
formulas are alternative protein sources that may reduce the risk of atopic dermatitis and other allergic disorders when
used in high-risk infants. This study compared the long-term (i.e. 6 years) economic impact of using a partially hydrolyzed
whey-based formula instead of a standard cow’s milk formula in the first 17 weeks of life in nonexclusively breastfed infants
who are at high risk of developing atopic dermatitis in Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines.
The analysis was based on the 6-year results of the German Infant Nutritional Intervention (GINI) study, a large randomized clinical trial comparing the risk of atopic dermatitis in following feeding with standard cow’s milk formula versus partially hydrolyzed whey-based formula.
Since atopic dermatitis is one of the most common chronic relapsing childhood dermatoses, it has major social and financial implications for individuals, health-care providers, and society as a whole. Despite the prevalence of atopic dermatitis, relatively little attention has been given to the impact of treatment on quality of life. The assessment of disease-related quality of life is important because it complements the traditional clinical scoring systems and captures the effects of the disease on patients and their families.
Atopic dermatitis is the most commonly occurring inflammatory disease in childhood. Contrary to previous belief, this disease
not only affects developed countries. In the Asia Pacific, the prevalence of atopic dermatitis is on the rise, affecting not
only the patients but their entire families and generating a significant economic burden.
Atopic dermatitis often begins in early childhood and is the first step in the so-called ‘atopic march’. This concept summarizes
the natural history of atopic manifestations, which typically begin with atopic dermatitis in early childhood followed by the
development of other allergic disorders in later life. The onset of atopic dermatitis in childhood often foreshadows the later
development of asthma and/or allergic rhinitis (hay fever).