Evaluation of thyroid function status in patients with alopecia areata
Keywords:Alopecia areata, Thyroid functional abnormalities, Hypothyroidism
Background: Epidemiologic reports suggest a high prevalence of thyroid function abnormalities among patients with alopecia areata. Hence, this study was designed to investigate this hypothesis among indigenous Nigeria patients with alopecia areata.
Methods: The study was a retrospective analysis of records of thyroid function investigations of patients with alopecia areata who had presented to the Department of Chemical Pathology and Metabolic Medicine of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Nigeria over a 10-year period (1st January 2007 and 31st December 2016). Records of patients’ age, sex, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), total thyroxine (T4), and total triiodothyronine (T3) were acquired from laboratory records and analyzed using SPSS version 15. A p<0.05 was applied as being significant.
Results: One hundred and thirteen (113) records of patients with alopecia areata were reviewed, among them 55 (48.7%) males and 58 (51.3%) females with no sex difference (p=0.778). The mean age of study cohorts was 29.42±10.27 (range 16–63) with the majority (61.9%) between the age group 20 to 40 years. No difference in the mean age, TSH, and T3 levels were observed between the males and females. Thyroid function abnormalities were observed in 27.3% of study cohorts and the most prevalent abnormality was hypothyroidism (16.8% subclinical and 4.4% primary) with a female preponderance.
Conclusions: The study suggests an association of alopecia areata with thyroid function abnormalities. Patients with alopecia areata should be screened for thyroid function abnormalities irrespective of clinical status.
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