[3 min read] Are alopecia patients at risk of vitamin D deficiency?

Do patients with alopecia areata have an increased prevalence of vitamin D deficiency? Alopecia areata is a hair follicle‐specific autoimmune disorder, and vitamin D deficiency has been associated with various autoimmune disorders for its immunomodulatory effects. However, studies have found an inconsistent association found between alopecia and vitamin D deficiency.

A new study published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology aimed to demonstrate the differences of the mean serum 25‐hydroxyvitamin D level and prevalence of vitamin D deficiency between alopecia areata patients and the non‐alopecia population.

Researchers analysed 14 studies including 1,255 alopecia areata subjects and 784 non‐alopecia controls. The mean serum 25‐hydroxyvitamin D level was significantly lower in alopecia subjects (−8.52 ng/dL; 95% confidential interval; −5.50 to −11.53).

The alopecia subjects had higher odds of vitamin D deficiency (odds ratio of 3.89; 2.02 to 7.49, mean prevalence of 73.8%; 59.1 to 84.6%). However, researchers found it difficult to find clear correlation between serum 25‐hydroxyvitamin D level and extent of hair loss in alopecia subjects.

The study concluded that patients with alopecia areata have lower serum 25‐hydroxyvitamin D levels, and that vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent compared to people who do not have alopecia.

It recommended that clinicians treating patients with alopecia areata should assess for vitamin D deficiency. Nutritional supplementation of vitamin D or topical vitamin D analogues can be considered for alopecia patients with vitamin D deficiency.

Read more recent research on alopecia.

 

Source:
Lee, S. , Kim, B. , Lee, C. and Lee, W. (2018), Increased prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in patients with alopecia areata: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, 32: 1214-1221. doi:10.1111/jdv.14987


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