Although Alopecia areata (AA) has been found to be associated with psychological distress, the scope and nature of this association has not been fully delineated. The current study sought to examine the association of AA with anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, utilizing a large-scale matched controlled cohort design. Patients suffering from AA (n = 41,055) were matched to control cases (n = 41,055) by age, sex, and socioeconomic status (SES). The prevalence of the four major mental disorders was assessed while stratifying the sample by age and sex, and after adjusting for marital status, smoking, BMI, hypertension, and diabetes. Data were accessed via the Clalit Health Services (CHS) database, a comprehensive health registry utilized by the largest managed healthcare company in Israel. Anxiety was independently and positively associated with AA (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.13–1.31, p < 0.001), across all age groups above 30, with similar rates in males and females. Depression was also independently and positively associated with AA (OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.01–1.17, p < 0.005), particularly in the 30–49 age group, with a higher association among females. A negative association was found between AA and schizophrenia (OR 0. 71, 95% CI 0.61–0.83, p < 0.001). No association was found between AA and bipolar disease. Patients with AA are at risk for anxiety and depression, with female patients, and patients in the 30–49 age group being particularly vulnerable to develop a co-occurring mental disorder. Medical treatment should therefore include psychiatric evaluation and appropriate care.
- Quality of life
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