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Open Access Research article

Evaluation of the profile of alopecia areata and the prevalence of thyroid function test abnormalities and serum autoantibodies in Iranian patients

Hassan Seyrafi*, Maryam Akhiani, Hamed Abbasi, Sahar Mirpour and Ali Gholamrezanezhad

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology. Tehran University of medical sciences. Tehran. Iran

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BMC Dermatology 2005, 5:11  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-5-11

Published: 31 October 2005

Abstract

Background

The study aimed at evaluating the prevalence of thyroid function abnormalities in patients with alopecia areata (AA) and its association with other autoimmune diseases and various autoimmune antibodies.

Method

We retrospectively analyzed medical records of 123 patients with AA. The main site of involvement, pattern, and extent of alopecia as well as presence of the similar disease in first-degree family members and serologic status of patients were recorded.

Results

Participating in the study were 57 males and 66 females (6 to 59 years old). In the majority of patients (69.9%) the disease was manifested in the first two decades of life. Patients with family members having alopecia were recorded in 24.4%. Thyroid function abnormalities were found in 8.9% of patients. Positive autoimmune antibodies were associated with AA in 51.4% of patients with no significant association between the severity and duration of disease and presence of these antibodies.

Conclusion

The incidence of positive auto-immune antibodies in Iranian patients is higher than previous reports. Concerning the female:male ratio, thyroid function tests and the prevalence of alopecia in first-degree relatives, our results are compatible with previous data obtained from different ethnic populations. Previous reports documented that a greater severity and longer duration of AA were seen in the early onset forms; however our result are relatively different which could be explained by differences in genetic factors.