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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Determination of incidence and prevalence of alopecia areata

Thanks to the March 2022 Academy Awards (and an incident involving actress Jada Pinkett Smith and her challenge with alopecia), this dermatological condition has received heavy coverage in the news lately, leading to hair loss. . Alopecia areata, the condition’s proper name, can also occur in children and a better understanding of the prevalence and incidence rates for the condition may help improve understanding of the disease and help define who is at high risk. Maybe in. A multicentre investigation provides some answers.1

The investigators looked at a multicentre group consisting of 5 children’s hospitals. Data was collected through PEDSnet, a standardized health record, for January 2009 to November 2020. The cohort consisted of patients younger than 18 years of age with a history of at least 2 physician visits or 1 specialized dermatologist visit, with a diagnosis code for alopecia areata.

The cohort consisted of 5801 patients. The mean age in the group was 9.0 years. It was slightly more female (56.2%) skewed and had a race/ethnicity breakdown: 2362 (40.7%) were White; 1348 (23.2%) were Hispanic; 1094 (18.9%) were black; and 359 (6.2) were Asian. The investigators found that the overall prevalence of pediatric alopecia areata was 0.11%. When the entire PEDSnet population is compared, children in the alopecia area are more often female, older, and members of a racial/ethnic minority group. The overall incidence rate between 2009 and 2020 was 3.6 cases per 100 000 person-years (95% CI, 13.1–14.2). The incidence rate by age had a normal distribution, with a peak at age 6. The rate for girls was 22.8% higher than that of boys (15.1 cases per 100 000 person-years for women versus 12.3 cases per 100 000 person-years for men). Hispanic children had the highest incidence rate (31.5 cases per 100 000 person-years).

The investigators concluded that the demographic subgroups at highest risk were Hispanic and Asian children, who were 2 and 3 times, respectively, more likely to be diagnosed with alopecia areata. A prevalence of 0.11% showed a doubling over the course of time. period.


1. Mackenzie P, Maltenfort M, Bruckner A, et al. Evaluation of the prevalence and incidence of pediatric alopecia areata using electronic health record data. Jama Dermatol, April 6, 2022. epub before print. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2022.0351

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