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What Is the Prevalence of Vitiligo in the United States?

U.S. population-based prevalence estimate of vitiligo is 0.76 percent; about 40 percent of adults with vitiligo may be undiagnosed

By Dermsquared Editorial Team | November 17, 2021


The current U.S. population-based prevalence estimate of clinician-adjudicated vitiligo in adults is 0.76 percent, and about 40 percent of adult vitiligo is undiagnosed, according to a study published online Nov. 17 in JAMA Dermatology.

Kavita Gandhi, from Pfizer in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and colleagues estimated the point prevalence of vitiligo in the United States using a cross-sectional online survey administered between December 2019 and March 2020. Data were included for 40,888 eligible adult participants.

The researchers found that the self-reported vitiligo prevalence was 1.38 percent, including 0.77 and 0.61 percent diagnosed and undiagnosed vitiligo, respectively. Clinician-adjudicated vitiligo prevalence was 0.76 percent based on expert dermatologist reviews of 113 photographs of patients with self-reported vitiligo, with 0.46 and 0.29 percent diagnosed and undiagnosed vitiligo, respectively. The prevalence of self-reported nonsegmental vitiligo was 0.77 percent, with 0.48 and 0.29 percent diagnosed and undiagnosed, respectively, while the prevalence of clinician-adjudicated nonsegmental vitiligo was 0.58 percent, with 0.37 and 0.21 percent diagnosed and undiagnosed, respectively. The prevalence of self-reported segmental vitiligo was 0.61 percent, with 0.28 and 0.33 diagnosed and undiagnosed, respectively, while clinician-adjudicated prevalence was 0.18 percent, with 0.09 and 0.08 percent diagnosed and undiagnosed, respectively.

"This survey study provides current U.S. population-based prevalence estimates of overall (diagnosed and undiagnosed combined) vitiligo in adults between 0.76 percent (1.9 million cases in 2020) and 1.11 percent (2.8 million cases in 2020) and estimates that approximately 40 percent of adults with vitiligo may be undiagnosed in the United States," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, which funded the study.

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