Alopecia areata linked to anxiety, depression in meta-analysis

  • J Am Acad Dermatol

  • Brian Richardson, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Alopecia areata is associated with increased risk for anxiety and depression, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Why this matters

  • Studies on the link between alopecia areata and psychiatric disorders have shown conflicting results.

Key results

  • In quantitative analysis, alopecia areata was associated with anxiety (OR, 2.50; 95% CI, 1.54-4.06) and depression (OR, 2.71; 95% CI, 1.52-4.82).
  • In qualitative analysis, 3 studies found no significant association between alopecia areata and anxiety, whereas 6 studies found that patients with alopecia areata had higher anxiety scores.
  • In qualitative analysis, 3 studies found no significant association between alopecia areata and depression, whereas 4 studies found that patients with alopecia areata had higher depression scores.

Study design

  • 17 studies (12 cross-sectional, 5 case-control) were included.
  • 8 studies (4 cross-sectional, 4 case-control) including 6010 patients with alopecia areata and 20,961 control participants were included in the quantitative analysis.
  • Funding: None.

Limitations

  • Potential publication bias.
  • No analysis of alopecia areata severity.