New Study Shows Alopecia Areata Has Significant Quality of Life Impact
Researchers from the Yale University Department of Dermatology recently conducted a review of all studies that have assessed the health-related quality of life of people with alopecia areata (AA). These results were published last week online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Collectively, the studies included data from 1,986 patients and showed that in general people with AA experience a negative impact on quality of life, particularly in terms of social functioning and psychological and emotional distress. The quality of life experienced by people with AA is similar to that which has been reported for people who have eczema or psoriasis, two chronic skin conditions that are associated with greater physical symptoms such as sleep disturbance and itch. The results of this study lend further support to the fact that AA is not a ‘cosmetic’ problem but rather a medical disorder with important negative health consequences, and the group hopes that the findings will provide increased awareness among health professionals and continued motivation for those working on AA research.
In preparing this review, the group realized that there was a lack of data regarding the ways in which AA affects family members and have identified this as an important area for additional study. A research study to understand how AA affects the lives of both the people who live with it, as well as their loved ones, is currently being conducted at Yale University School of Medicine and recruiting participants.
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