Fricke J, Ávila G, Keller T, Weller K, Lau S, Maurer M, Zuberbier T, Keil T.

(2019) Allergy. 2019 Sep 8. doi: 10.1111/all.14037. [Epub ahead of print]

Urticaria is a relatively common skin condition, characterized by the development of hives, angioedema, or both. Although it is a common condition, there are few studies that assess urticaria prevalence and do not distinguish between acute and chronic forms.

This review aimed at examining the prevalence of chronic urticaria by assessing the evidence from population-based studies worldwide.

After a systematic search in PUBMED and EMBASE for population-based studies of cross-sectional or cohort design and studies based on health insurance/system databases, 18 studies were included in the systematic evaluation and 11 in the meta-analysis, including data from over 86,000,000 participants.

Globally, the prevalence of chronic urticaria showed considerable regional differences. Asian studies showed a higher point prevalence of chronic urticaria than those from Europe and Northern America. Women seemed to be more affected than men, whereas in children < 15 years there was no sex-specific difference in the prevalence of chronic urticaria. Four of the studies that examined time trends, indicated an increasing prevalence of chronic urticaria over time.

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