Chronic telogen effluvium: Increased scalp hair shedding in middle-aged women

    David Whiting
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    TLDR Middle-aged women with chronic telogen effluvium experience increased hair shedding but usually don't get significantly thinner hair.
    In 1996, a study involving 355 patients (346 females, 9 males) investigated chronic telogen effluvium (CTE), a condition causing increased hair shedding, particularly in middle-aged women. The study aimed to define clinical and pathological characteristics of CTE and distinguish it from androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and other hair loss causes. Findings indicated that CTE patients had an average of 39 hairs shed with a terminal/vellus-like hair ratio of 9:1 and 89% of terminal hairs in the anagen phase. In comparison, AGA patients had an average of 35 hairs shed with a 1.9:1 ratio and 83.2% of terminal hairs in the anagen phase. CTE was found to affect women aged 30-60, starting abruptly, and could be identified by its clinical and histologic features. The condition has a prolonged, fluctuating course but is often self-limiting and does not lead to significant thinning in 80-90% of cases. The study highlighted the need for further research to understand hair cycle controls and develop effective treatments for CTE.
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