Alopecia areata and health-related quality of life: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Fanni Rencz, László Gulácsi, Márta Péntek, Norbert Wikonkál, Petra Baji, Valentin Brodszky
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    TLDR Alopecia areata significantly lowers the quality of life, especially in emotional and mental health aspects.
    The systematic review and meta-analysis from 2016 analyzed the impact of alopecia areata (AA) on the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in 2,530 adult patients across 21 studies. It found that AA significantly impairs HRQOL, particularly affecting role-emotional, mental health, and vitality. The study also identified three AA-specific HRQOL instruments but noted they require further validation. The mean pooled Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) score for AA patients was 6.3, indicating a significant reduction in HRQOL compared to controls. Factors such as wearing a wig improved HRQOL, while scalp involvement, anxiety, and depression worsened it. The study emphasized the need for more research on the validity of AA-specific HRQOL measures and the inclusion of HRQOL assessments in treatment efficacy studies.
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