Highlights from

AAD 2021

American Academy of Dermatology Virtual Meeting Experience 2021

Virtual 23-25 April 2021

Alopecia areata and the risk of severe COVID-19

Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with psychological stress, causing stress-sensitive skin disorders to flare up. Although hypothesised that these patients may be at an increased risk of severe COVID-19, the current study found that patients with alopecia areata were less likely to be hospitalised because of COVID-19.

The current study aimed to compare rates of COVID-19 infection and hospitalisation among patients with alopecia areata, hypothesising that people with autoimmune diseases are at an increased risk of COVID-19 hospitalisation. A cross-sectional study was conducted in five university hospitals during the early stage of the pandemic (March to October 2020). Patients (n=269,299) were tested for SARS-CoV-2, of which 3.7% of alopecia areata patients tested positive for COVID-19. Of these positive alopecia areata patients, 8% were hospitalised. No patients died. When compared with the healthy study population, 3.6% received a positive test of which 19.2% were hospitalised, and 2.1% died. These results may indicate that alopecia areata patients are not at increased risk of severe COVID-19, expressed as hospitalisation admission. However, this study was limited by the low number of alopecia areata patients that tested positive for COVID-19.

First author: Niki Nourmohammadi

  1. Nourmohammadi N et al. A cross-sectional study on the association between COVID-19 infection and hospitalization in patients with alopecia areata. Presented at poster 27804, American Association of Dermatologists VMX 2021, 23-25 April 201.

Top image: © kali9

Article image: @ AlexPapp

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