Vol. 4, Issue 3 (2018)
Demographic and clinical profile of alopecia areata in Makkah, Saudi Arabia and it's impact on quality of life
Author(s): Dr. Salaiman Alsaiari, Mohamad Fatani
Abstract: Background: Alopecia areata is a common chronic dermatological disease that has a negative impact on psychological status and the social interaction of the patient and their overall quality of life (QoL). Moreover, clinical severity of hair loss does not necessarily predict impact on QoL. Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess QoL in patients with alopecia areata in Makkah, Saudi Arabia by using the newly validated Skindex-16 instrument, to determine the association between patients QoL, sociodemographic data, and disease characteristics. Materials and Methods: Thirty four patients diagnosed with alopecia areata seen in the Department of Dermatology at Hera General Hospital in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, were included. Quality of life was measured by Skindex-16; sociodemographic data, and disease characteristics was determined; severity of AA was measured by Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) scores. Results: The scalp was the most common site of involvement and Nail changes was reported in 26.5% of patients. 52.1% of the patients had a precipitating factor, with psychological stress being the most common factor. Common comorbid conditions included atopy in 14.7%, thyroid disease in 11.8%, and mental health problems (depression or anxiety) in 8.8%. 20% of the patients were positive for a family history of AA. The mean global Skindex-16 score was 37.7, among the three domains in which skindex-16 is divided, ‘emotions’ has a major impact on the QLI, followed by ‘function’; ‘symptoms domain’ has a lower weight on the QLI. After adjustment for potential confounders, poorer QoL was significantly associated with female gender (P = 0.024), single (P = 0.045), high-income (P = 0.050), and those with body AA (P = 0.016). Conclusions: This study presents the demographic features and clinical characteristics of alopecia areata which has a considerable impact on quality of life. Use of these simple QOL measures as a part of integral clinical strategy will improve the outcome.