Those are among key findings from a retrospectiveof Hispanic/Latinx patients at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) by , of UCI’s department of dermatology, and her coauthors. The findings were published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
A recentexamined the epidemiology of alopecia areata (AA) in Black patients, wrote Dr. Mesinkovska and coauthors Celine Phong, a UCI medical student, and professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C. “A similar unmet need exists to describe the characteristics of AA in Hispanic/Latinx (H/L) patients, the prevalent majority in California,” they added.
Drawing from chart reviews, ICD codes, and documented physical exams, they retrospectively identified 197 Hispanic/Latinx patients diagnosed with AA at UCI between 2015 and 2022, including alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis.
Nearly two-thirds of patients with alopecia were female (63%), and their mean age at diagnosis was 33 years. Most patients (79%) presented with patchy pattern AA, 13% had diffuse pattern AA, and only 12% had eyebrow, eyelash, or beard involvement. The most common comorbidity in patients overall was atopy (24%), including allergic rhinitis (12%), asthma (10%), and/or atopic dermatitis (7%).
The authors found that 18% of patients had one or more coexisting autoimmune conditions, most commonly rheumatoid arthritis (9%) and thyroid disease (6%). No patients had celiac disease, myasthenia gravis, or inflammatory bowel disease, but 43% had another dermatologic condition.
In other findings, 22% of patients had vitamin D deficiency, 20% had hyperlipidemia, 18% had obesity, 16% had gastroesophageal reflux disease, and 12% had anemia. At the same time, depression, anxiety, or sleep disorders were identified in 14% of patients.
“Interestingly, the most common autoimmune comorbidity in H/L was rheumatoid arthritis, compared to thyroid disease in Black patients and overall AA patients,” the authors wrote. “This finding may be a reflection of a larger trend, as rheumatoid arthritis in the H/L population has been on the rise.”
The authors acknowledged certain limitations of the study including its small sample size and lack of a control group, and reported having no financial disclosures.