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Research Letter
Sep 2012

Incidence of Moderate to Severe Ichthyosis in the United States

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut (Dr Milstone); Thomson Reuters, Analytic Consulting and Research Services, Santa Barbara, California (Mss Miller and Dickens); Thomson Reuters, Pharma/Biotech Custom Analytics, Washington, DC (Ms Haberman). Ms Haberman is now with the Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC.

Arch Dermatol. 2012;148(9):1080-1081. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2012.1702

Most statistics on the incidence of hereditary ichthyosis are acknowledged as best-guess estimates. The exceptions are population-based studies for the prevalence of steroid sulfatase deficiency (x-linked ichthyosis)1 and mutations in filaggrin (ichthyosis vulgaris).2 We wondered whether the unique International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) code for ichthyosis might be used to gather incidence information from large administrative claims databases. We reasoned that moderate to severe ichthyosis is clinically distinctive and usually diagnosed at birth and that infants would not have manifested ichthyosis vulgaris (the common, mild form of ichthyosis), forms of nonhereditary “acquired” ichthyosis, or other skin diagnoses easily confused with ichthyosis.