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Quality of life assessment in patients with alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia in the People’s Republic of China

Authors Zhang M, Zhang N

Received 1 September 2016

Accepted for publication 28 November 2016

Published 27 January 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 151—155

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S121218

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Naifeng Liu

Min Zhang,1 Nan Zhang2

1Department of Dermatology, 2Department of Oncology, Jinan Central Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, People’s Republic of China

Introduction: In medical terms, alopecia is considered a relatively mild dermatological condition that nevertheless is a serious condition, but it causes major depression in many sufferers. Alopecia areata (AA) and androgenetic alopecia (AGA) are the main types of hair loss. This study assessed the quality of life (QoL) of Chinese patients with AA and AGA using the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) questionnaire.
Methods: A total of 178 AA and AGA patients were enrolled in this study, and DLQI was used to evaluate the QoL of the patients. The DLQI used 10 items regarding symptoms and feelings, daily activities, leisure, work and school, personal relationships, and treatment as dimensions of life. Each was scored on a 0–3 scale. The total DLQI score equaled 0–30; higher scores showed greater impact on QoL.
Results: The DLQI scores of the 178 patients ranged from 0 to 28, with a mean score of 6.3. Higher DLQI scores were reported by younger patients (P<0.05) and by those who had hair loss for a duration of >12 months (P<0.05). The DLQI score of AA patients was significantly higher than that of AGA patients (P<0.05). QoL was not affected by gender, marital status, educational level, past history of alopecia, family history of alopecia, or severity of alopecia.
Conclusion: AA and AGA moderately affected the QoL of the patients. A higher DLQI score was significantly associated with younger age, hair loss for a duration of >12 months, and AA. Both AA and AGA moderately affected the QoL of the patients not only in physiological aspects but also in their emotional and social aspects. The bio-psycho-social aspects of disease need to be addressed in patients with AA and AGA, even though these conditions are not life-threatening.

Keywords:
alopecia, quality of life, People’s Republic of China

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