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Alopecia areata impairs quality of life

06 Jun 2018

Alopecia areata (AA) significantly diminishes quality of life in patients, particularly in those with more severe disease and those who experienced recent acute stress, a new study has found.

Using the Dermatologic Life Quality Index (DLQI), researchers assessed the quality of life in 176 AA patients, of whom 96 had mild disease (mean age 31.21±8.2 years; 12.5 percent female) and 80 had severe disease (mean age 31.6±10.07 years; 63.8 percent female). Multivariable linear regression was performed to determine relationships among the variables.

The mean DLQI score in the overall study cohort was 7.9±7.6 points. This was significantly higher in the severe vs mild groups (10.7±7.5 vs 5.4±6.8; p<0.001). Scores likewise varied according to sex, with males scoring significantly lower than females (6.8±7.4 vs 9.6±7.6; p=0.02).

DLQI scores were also significantly associated with the duration of the disease (p<0.001) and acute stress events within the last 6 months (p=0.02).

However, complete adjustments in multivariable analysis showed that only severe disease (coefficient, 4.98; 95 percent CI, 2.14–7.82; p=0.001) and acute stress in the past 6 months (coefficient, 2.47; 0.31–4.63; p=0.025) remained significant factors for DLQI.

In contrast, age, family history of AA, occupation status, disease course, facial involvement and other associated disease were not associated with DLQI scores.

“This study highlights the impact of AA on patient’s [quality of life] especially severe cases and the importance of psychological evaluation of these patients,” said researchers.

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