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Psychiatric Symptoms in Patients with Alopecia Areata

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Author(s): Burak | Erol | Yaşargül

Journal: Turkderm
ISSN 1019-214X

Volume: 45;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 203;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Alopecia areata | depression | anxiety | alexithymia

ABSTRACT
Background and Design: Alopecia areata is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by sudden hair loss. Existing evidence suggests that alopecia areata may be associated with personality traits altering the susceptibility to stress and psychiatric conditions associated with stress. The aim of this study was to compare the intensity of depressive and anxiety symptoms and the level of alexithymia in patients with alopecia areata and healthy control subjects.Materials and methods: Fifty patients with the diagnosis of alopecia areata and 30 healthy volunteers were compared in terms of scores of Beck depression inventory, Beck anxiety inventory, and Toronto alexithymia scale.Results: There were no statistically significant differences between alopecia areata cases and healthy controls regarding intensity of anxiety and level of alexythimia (p=0.053 and p=0.120, respectively). The intensity of depressive symptoms exhibited by alopecia areata patients was found to be significantly higher than that in healthy controls (p=0.010) and there was no statistically significant relationship between intensity of depressive symptoms and duration of the current alopecia areata episode (p=0.873).Conclusion: It is suggested that psychiatric evaluation should also be performed in all alopecia areata cases during the clinical follow-up period. (Turk­derm 2011; 45: 203-5)

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