The Burden of Alopecia Areata: A Scoping Review Focusing on Quality of Life, Mental Health, and Work Productivity

    Anastasiya Muntyanu, Sofianne Gabrielli, Jeffrey C. H. Donovan, Melinda Gooderham, Lyn Guenther, Sameh Hanna, Charles Lynde, Vimal H. Prajapati, Marni C. Wiseman, Elena Netchiporouk
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    TLDR Alopecia areata greatly affects people's life quality, mental health, and work life.
    Alopecia areata (AA), an autoimmune disease causing hair loss, significantly impacts quality of life (QoL), mental health, and productivity, as per a scoping review of 134 studies. Over 75% of AA patients experienced QoL impairment, with up to a third reporting extremely severe QoL impairments. Anxiety and/or depression signs were found in 30% to 68% of adult AA patients across all age groups. AA patients had significantly higher rates of work absenteeism and unemployment compared to healthy controls, with up to 62% reporting major life decisions influenced by their AA. The disease also led to a strong financial burden due to camouflage techniques, time lost from work, and frequent physician visits. The study concludes that AA's impact extends beyond aesthetics, affecting all aspects of an individual's life, and calls for an individualized approach and effective treatments to reduce psychosocial consequences and distress.
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