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People With Alopecia Have Higher Risk for Inflammatory Arthritis

Increased risk seen for psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis

By Lori Solomon (HealthDay News) | May 15, 2023

MONDAY, May 15, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Alopecia areata (AA) is associated with a higher risk for inflammatory arthritis, according to a study published online April 28 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Colin M. Kincaid, from University of California at Irvine, and colleagues used medical records from 75 health care organizations (TriNetx) to determine if an association exists between AA and inflammatory arthritis. The analysis included 46,682 patients with AA and matched controls.

The researchers found that patients with AA had a significantly higher risk for developing psoriatic arthritis (odds ratio [OR], 2.344), rheumatoid arthritis (OR, 2.09), and ankylosing spondylitis (OR, 1.68) versus controls. Individuals with AA and concomitant inflammatory arthritis were mostly female, with the highest proportion having AA with rheumatoid arthritis (84 percent female). AA was also associated with the development of "other crystal arthropathies" (OR, 1.763) and "other inflammatory arthropathies" (OR, 1.631). Rates of gout were similar between the cohorts.

"In this large-scale cohort study, AA patients with inflammatory arthritis were older (average age, 54.4 years old), raising the question of whether we should screen patients with AA for arthritis and at what age," the authors write.

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