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What Is the Prevalence of Depression, Anxiety Disorders in Alopecia Areata Patients?

Prevalence of depression disorder 9 percent, anxiety disorder 7 to 17 percent; prevalence of disorders lower than depression and anxiety symptom prevalence

By Dermsquared Editorial Team | January 25, 2023

For patients with alopecia areata (AA), the prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders is lower than that of depression and anxiety symptoms, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online Jan. 25 in JAMA Dermatology .

Sophie Lauron, M.D., from Clermont Auvergne University in France, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to separate the prevalence of depressive and anxiety disorders from that of depressive and anxiety symptoms in patients with AA. A total of 37 articles met the inclusion criteria, including 29 on depression and 26 on anxiety.

The researchers found that when distinguishing between disorders and symptoms, the prevalence of depressive disorders and unspecified anxiety disorders was 9 and 13 percent, respectively, in patients with AA, which was greater than in the general population. The prevalence and odds ratios of depressive disorders (prevalence, 9 percent; odds ratio, 1.38) and anxiety disorders (prevalence, 7 to 17 percent; odds ratio, 1.51 to 1.69) were lower than those of depressive symptoms (prevalence, 37 percent; odds ratio, 2.70) and anxiety symptoms (prevalence, 34 percent; odds ratio, 3.07).

"The substantial difference between the prevalence of disorders and that of symptoms is a strong argument in favor of using a multimodal assessment approach in research studies that could lead to a better detection of psychiatric disorders in patients with dermatological diseases," the authors write.


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