Alopecia Areata Linked With Other Autoimmune Diseases

Age at onset of alopecia may predict risk for other conditions

MONDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Alopecia areata (AA) appears to be associated with various autoimmune diseases, which vary according to age at onset of AA, according to research published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Szu-Ying Chu, M.D., of the Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan, and colleagues compared disease states in 4,334 patients with AA against a national representative cohort of 784,158 control subjects to clarify the role of atopic and autoimmune diseases in AA and to better understand the condition's pathogenesis.

The researchers found significant associations between AA and vitiligo, lupus, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, autoimmune thyroid disease, and allergic rhinitis. The comorbidities varied by age at onset of AA; for example, those with childhood onset of AA at younger than 10 years of age were at greater risk for lupus, while thyroid disease was highly related to AA in those whose onset occurred after age 60.

"AA is related to various atopic and autoimmune diseases. Different associated diseases in each onset age group of AA can allow [the] clinician to efficiently investigate specific comorbidities," the authors write.

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