Late‐onset alopecia areata: A retrospective study of 73 patients from Taiwan

    Ming‐Ho Wu, Chao‐Chun Yang, Ren‐Yeu Tsai, W. C. Chen
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    TLDR Late-onset alopecia areata in Taiwanese patients is more common in women, usually starts at age 57, often involves less than 10% hair loss, and may have a minimal link to thyroid issues.
    The retrospective study of 73 Taiwanese patients with late-onset alopecia areata (AA) found a female predominance (67%) and a median onset age of 57 years. The most common hair loss pattern was multifocal lesions, with 55% of patients experiencing less than 10% hair loss. Coexisting diseases were present in 23% of patients, and 8% had a history of malignancy. Laboratory tests indicated a higher prevalence of positive anti-microbial somal antibodies (40%) in these patients compared to younger individuals with AA and healthy elderly subjects. There was no significant association with atopy, and the link between AA and malignancies appeared coincidental. Complete hair regrowth was observed in three patients with mild disease severity followed for over 6 months. The study concluded that late-onset AA presents with milder disease activity, the relationship to autoimmune thyroiditis is minimal, and the high treatment dropout rate among the elderly suggests the need for consideration of the disease's impact on life quality in this age group.
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