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CDC Awards Grant to National Eczema Association

The grant will support a four-year project focused on increasing awareness of the seriousness of atopic dermatitis and highlight the need for timely diagnosis and ongoing disease control

NOVATO, Calif., Oct. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The National Eczema Association (NEA) was recently awarded a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 4-year Chronic Disease Awareness and Engagement grant will support NEA’s project titled “Atopic Dermatitis is More Than a Skin Disease: Raising Awareness and Improving Care.”

Atopic dermatitis (AD) – commonly referred to as eczema – is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that affects over 31 million Americans of all ages (approximately 13% of children and 7% of adults) as well as all races and ethnicities. Primarily characterized by intensely itchy, painful and inflamed areas of the skin, the burden of AD extends far beyond the skin to include sleep disruption, mental health disturbances, higher rates of work and school impairment, social withdrawal and isolation as well as numerous co-occurring conditions. Over 50% of individuals with moderate to severe AD experience poor long-term disease control, yet milder forms of AD have also been shown to have a marked effect on overall well-being. Disproportionate increases in AD prevalence, severity, and health-related quality of life burden are also well-documented for individuals with skin of color due to the contributing influences of multiple social determinants of health.

NEA’s grant-funded project will increase awareness and knowledge of the prevalence, significance and seriousness of AD as more than a skin disease among public health professionals, primary care physicians, affected patients and their families and the public.

“This is a pivotal moment for NEA and for the eczema community,” said Julie Block, President and CEO. “One in 10 individuals will experience AD during their lifetime and yet the significant impact of AD has been underappreciated. The CDC grant will enable us to greatly expand our efforts to increase awareness of the seriousness of AD and mitigate the detrimental impacts to patients, families and society.”

A chief focus of the project will be to highlight the need for timely and accurate diagnosis. Undiagnosed and/or uncontrolled AD is a primary driver of AD disease burden, negative impacts to overall physical and mental health, and increased healthcare utilization. Multiple factors can contribute to the receipt of a timely diagnosis, including patient appreciation of the significance and severity of symptoms to seek care, and the ability of healthcare providers in primary and specialty settings to appropriately identify AD across diverse individuals and clinical presentations. NEA’s efforts will support ongoing disease control to alleviate health burden and minimize detrimental impacts to quality of life, providing practical management tools and resources for patients and community-based healthcare providers.

“Today we have a much better understanding of the multidimensional burden of AD as well as a growing number of effective treatments for AD of all severities,” said Wendy Smith Begolka, Chief Strategy Officer at NEA and lead for the CDC-funded project. “With increased awareness, improved diagnosis and optimal disease management, the lives of patients and families can be significantly changed for the better.”

In addition to improving awareness and knowledge of the significance and seriousness of AD, the grant will allow NEA, with other collaborators, to develop regional estimates of AD prevalence, affected patient populations and current care practices that will enhance targeted education and awareness efforts, address existing healthcare disparities in AD care and outcomes and improve future AD-related data collection efforts.

The grant funding began on September 29, 2023.

About the National Eczema Association
Founded in 1988, the National Eczema Association (NEA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and the largest patient advocacy organization serving the over 31 million Americans who live with eczema and those who care for them. NEA provides programs and resources to elevate the diverse lived experience of eczema, and help patients and caregivers understand their disease, actively engage in their care, find strength in one another – and improve their lives. Additionally, NEA advances critical eczema research and partners with key stakeholders to ensure the patient voice is represented and valued in education, care and treatment decision-making. The eczema community is at an exciting juncture, with increased recognition of the seriousness and burden of eczema and a surge in scientific interest and development of new treatments. Bolstered by NEA’s strategic plan, Blueprint 2025, we are driving toward the ultimate vision: a world without eczema. Learn more at NationalEczema.org.

SOURCE National Eczema Association

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cdc-awards-grant-to-national-eczema-association-301949235.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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