Lifetime prevalence of psychiatric disorders in patients with alopecia areata

Eduardo` A Colon, Michael K Popkin, Allan L. Callies, Nancy J. Dessert, Maria K Hordinsky

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Thirty-one patients with alopecia areata were administered a structured psychiatric interview (the Diagnostic Interview Schedule; DIS). Overall, 74% had one or more lifetime psychiatric diagnoses. Particularly noteworthy were the high lifetime prevalence rates of major depression (39%) and generalized anxiety disorder (39%). In addition, patients reported increased rates of psychiatric disorders in first-degree relatives: anxiety disorders (58%), affective disorders (35%), and substance use disorders (35%). Patients with patchy alopecia areata were more likely to have a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder. No relationships were found between major depression and any variable characterizing alopecia areata history. Possible interrelationships between psychiatric disorders and alopecia areata are discussed. The study suggests that patients with alopecia areata are at increased risk for psychiatric disorders, and calls attention to the need for psychiatric assessment in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


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