Ann Dermatol.  2015 Aug;27(4):411-416. 10.5021/ad.2015.27.4.411.

Alopecia Areata in the Elderly: A 10-Year Retrospective Study

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea. kimdw@knu.ac.kr
  • 2BL Plastic Surgery and Dermatology Clinic, Daegu, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Alopecia areata (AA) is an organ-specific autoimmune disease that typically occurs in young adults. AA in the elderly is relatively rare, thus little data have been reported.
OBJECTIVE
This study aimed to understand the clinical characteristics of AA in the elderly.
METHODS
We performed a 10-year retrospective study of AA in the elderly who visited our dermatologic clinic from January 2002 to December 2011. A clinical review of medical records and telephone interviews were performed by two dermatologists.
RESULTS
Among 1,761 patients with newly diagnosed AA, 61 (3.5%) were older than 60 years at the first visit. Among those who completed a telephone interview, 74.3% (26/35) had less than 50% of scalp-localized hair loss. There was no association between the extent of AA and hair graying (p=0.679). Favorable therapeutic response was observed in 62.9% (22/35) of cases.
CONCLUSION
AA in the elderly shows mild disease severity and favorable treatment response. There is no association between graying and the extent of AA. However, the influence of aging on the pathogenesis of AA in the elderly deserves further investigation.

Keyword

Aged; Alopecia areata; Autoimmune diseases
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