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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-12

Quality of life in alopecia areata: A case-control study

1 Sector of Dermatology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2 Sector of Psychiatry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Taciana Rocha de Hollanda
Rua Faro 54/804, 22461-020, Rio de Janeiro
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-7753.136748

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Background: Although alopecia areata (AA) is typically seen by medical staff as a benign, not life-threatening cosmetic disease, some studies have found significant impairment in quality of life (QL) in AA patients. There are no studies that assess QL in Brazilian AA patients. Objectives: To evaluate QL in AA patients, using the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). The most affected SF-36 dimensions were compared to two culturally different AA QL studies. Materials and Methods: We performed a case-control study with 37 AA patients and 49 age- and sex-matched volunteer blood donors. The results of a Turkish and a French study were compared to our results. Results: The dimensions social functioning ( P = 0,001), role emotional ( P = 0,019), and mental health ( P = 0,000) scored statistically lower in the AA group in relation to controls, suggesting a worse QL. Incomparison to the Turkish and French studies, we found: (1) On the dimension role emotional, QL was equally impaired; (2) on the dimension social functioning, it was not different than the Turkish study; (3) social life of French AA patients was more affected; and (4) vitality and mental health dimensions were significantly more affected in French and Turkish patients. Conclusions: Impairment in QL in AA patients affected psychological, emotional, and social aspects of theirlives. Despite the scores of SF-36 dimensions varied significantly among different cultural groups, impairment of QL was found in all three studies; thus, we can suppose that these findings are not linked to a specific culture.

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