Indian Journal of Dermatology
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STUDIES
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 70-74

Alopecia areata and autoimmunity: A clinical study


Department of Dermatology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana - 141 008, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Emy Abi Thomas
Department of Dermatology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana - 141 008, Punjab
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5154.41650

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Alopecia areata (AA) frequently occur in association with other autoimmune diseases such as thyroid disorders, anemias and other skin disorders with autoimmune etiology. Despite numerous studies related to individual disease associations in alopecia areata, there is paucity of literature regarding comprehensive studies on concomitant cutaneous and systemic diseases. The present study has been designed to determine if there is a significant association between alopecia areata and other autoimmune diseases. This study covers 71 patients with the diagnosis of alopecia areata as the case group and 71 patients with no evidence of alopecia areata as the control group. Among the cutaneous diseases associated with AA, atopic dermatitis (AD) showed maximum frequency with an O/E ratio of 2.5, which indicates that it is two to three times more common in patients with alopecia areata. In our study, thyroid disorders showed the highest frequency with on O/E ratio of 3.2 and a P value of 0.01, which is statistically highly significant. Among the thyroid disorders, hypothyroidism was the most frequent association (14.1%) in our study. Since systemic involvement is not infrequent in patients with alopecia areata, it is imperative to screen these patients for associated disorders, particularly atopy, thyroid diseases, anemias and other autoimmune disorders, especially if alopecia areata is chronic, recurrent and extensive.


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