International Journal of Trichology International Journal of Trichology
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 197-204

Cumulative life course impairment of alopecia areata

1 Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
2 National Alopecia Areata Foundation, San Rafael; Department of Dermatology, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA
3 National Alopecia Areata Foundation, San Rafael, USA
4 Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Maryanne M Senna
50 Staniford Street, Suite 200, Boston, MA 02114
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_99_20

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Alopecia areata (AA), an unpredictable, nonscarring hair loss, is commonly perceived as a cosmetic, rather than medical, concern. However, substantial evidence exists describing the negative impact on quality of life, as the disease affects patients personally, socially, financially, and physically. Over time, the cumulative disability may perpetuate poor confidence, social disconnection, negative coping strategies, and failure to achieve a full life potential. Here, we describe the cumulative life course impairment (CLCI) of AA by examining the complex interaction of (1) stigmatization, (2) physical and psychiatric comorbidities, and (3) coping strategies. The model aggregates existing cross-sectional data, which have previously captured disease burden only as snapshots in time. Thus, by examining cumulative effects, the CLCI model serves as a proxy for longitudinal data to better describe life course epidemiology of the disease.

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