HealthDay News — The burden of alopecia areata (AA) is considerable in the United States, with people of color, especially Asians, disproportionately affected, according to a study published online in JAMA Dermatology.

Nene Sy, from Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study using electronic records for children, adolescents, and adults seeking health care across the four census regions in the United States between January 1 and December 31, 2019, to estimate overall and subgroup prevalence rates of AA and its subtypes.

Overall, 1812 of the 1,093,176 patients who met the inclusion criteria had at least 1 code for AA. The researchers found that the overall age- and sex-standardized prevalence rates were 0.18% and 0.10% among adults and among children and adolescents, respectively. For women to men, the age-standardized prevalence ratio was 1.32. Standardized prevalence was highest among those aged 30 to 39 and 40 to 49 years (297 and 270 per 100,000, respectively). Asian patients had the highest standardized prevalence, followed by patients of other race or multiple races, Black patients, and Hispanic/Latino patients (414, 314, 226, and 212 per 100,000, respectively), while White patients had the lowest standardized prevalence (168 per 100,000). The standardized prevalence ratios were 2.47, 1.35, and 1.26 for Asian, Black, and Hispanic/Latino patients, respectively, vs White patients. Of the patients diagnosed with AA, alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis comprised about 9% of cases.

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“Collecting better data around burden of disease in AA with a focus on the social determinants of health for those affected is paramount moving forward,” write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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