Concert Pharmaceuticals Announces Publication on Alopecia Areata Burden of Disease in Journal of Investigative Dermatology
Study shows alopecia areata carries a considerable psychosocial burden in patients
“The impact of alopecia areata extends beyond cosmetic concerns and carries a considerable psychosocial burden for patients,” stated lead author of the publication, Natasha Mesinkovska, MD, PhD,
Key findings of the survey show that patients with alopecia areata suffer significantly increased burden of illness including:
- Alopecia areata has a negative impact on many aspects of daily life, extending far beyond cosmetic concerns. Of 17 reported comorbidities, anxiety and depression were the most prevalent.
- The significant psychosocial impact of alopecia areata on daily life, with self-esteem or confidence impacting daily life the most, did not abate over time.
- Alopecia areata can negatively redirect the course of a patient’s life, culminating in unfulfilled professional and academic aspirations as well as diminished expectations for relationships and family life. Nearly two-thirds of respondents indicated they had made different major life decisions (regarding relationships, education or career) as a result of alopecia areata.
- Patients reported a range of physical symptoms and complications associated with alopecia areata, including sensitivity to temperature and light, increased susceptibility to sunburn, nail splitting, dryness and irritation in eyes and nose, and inability to keep sweat and debris out of eyes.
- Hair loss concealment techniques and treatments were considered unsatisfactory to patients and imposed a significant time and financial burden. Hair loss was closely linked to a sense of changing self-identity and, for many respondents, getting used to an altered appearance was described as devastating and emotionally draining.
About the Study
An online survey was completed by 216 eligible patients with alopecia areata. Patients had a median disease duration of 13 years with alopecia areata and most patients self-reported their hair loss as being severe, with hair loss affecting more than one-third of their scalp. The 25-item survey consisted of 4 sections: (i) clinical severity and symptoms, (ii) impact on daily living and activities, (iii) financial and treatment burden, and (iv) demographics. Most survey respondents reported at least one comorbidity; the most common being anxiety and depression. Other common comorbidities included allergic rhinitis, thyroid disease, atopic dermatitis and asthma.
The journal article, entitled “Burden of Illness in Alopecia Areata: A Cross-Sectional Online Survey Study,” is available online at: https://www.jidsponline.org/article/S1087-0024(20)30017-4/fulltext
About Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks hair follicles, resulting in partial or complete loss of hair on the scalp and body. Alopecia areata may affect up to 700,000 Americans at any given time1. The scalp is the most commonly affected area, but any hair-bearing site can be affected alone or together with the scalp. Onset of the disease can occur throughout life and affects both women and men. Alopecia areata can be associated with serious psychological consequences, including anxiety and depression. There are currently no drugs approved by the
1 Benigno M. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology 2020
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