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Reduced Mortality Risk Seen for Patients With Vitiligo

Lower all-cause and cause-specific mortality seen, including from infectious diseases, oncologic diseases, endocrine diseases

By Elana Gotkine (HealthDay News) | September 26, 2023

TUESDAY, Sept. 26, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with vitiligo may have a reduced risk for mortality, according to a study published online Sept. 14 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Hyun Jeong Ju, M.D., Ph.D., from the St. Vincent's Hospital College of Medicine at The Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, and colleagues examined mortality in patients with vitiligo in a population-based cohort study. Patients with incident vitiligo and sociodemographic factor-matched controls were included in a 1:5 ratio, with a total of 107,424 patients with incident vitiligo and 537,120 matched controls. Participant data were pulled from the National Health Insurance Service of Korea database and linked to the National Death Registry.

The researchers found that for patients and controls, mortality rates were 34.8 and 45.3 per 10,000 person-years, respectively. A significantly lower risk for mortality was seen for patients with vitiligo (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.75). Patients with vitiligo had significantly lower cause-specific mortality from infectious diseases, oncologic diseases, hematologic diseases, endocrine diseases, neurologic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and renal/urogenital disease.

"Our findings are significant because they suggest that the autoimmune nature of vitiligo may confer certain protective effects against various causes of mortality, and they offer new avenues for research into the mechanisms underlying this protective effect," Ju said in a statement. "Moreover, understanding the mortality risk in patients with vitiligo will lead to improved patient counseling, health monitoring, and overall management strategies for patients."

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