Comorbidities such as autoimmune diseases and mental health problems are common in patients with alopecia areata, study results suggest.
Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, reviewed the medical files of 350 randomly selected patients with alopecia areata who were part of the Partners healthcare system in Boston.
Common comorbid conditions among the patients were autoimmune diagnoses such as thyroid disease in 14.6 percent, diabetes mellitus in 11.1 percent, inflammatory bowel disease in 6.3 percent, systemic lupus erythematosus in 4.3 percent and rheumatoid arthritis in 3.9 percent. Additionally, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis were found in 2 percent of the patients. Mental health problems such as anxiety and depression were in 25.5 percent.
In the patients with alopecia areata, researchers also noted a high prevalence of hyperlipidemia (24.5 percent), hypertension (21.9 percent) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (17.3 percent). The investigators suggested that clinicians treating patients who have alopecia areata consider screening these patients for comorbid conditions.
The study was published online May 22 in JAMA Dermatology.