Vitiligo in an urban academic setting

Int J Dermatol. 2010 Jan;49(1):39-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2009.04175.x.


Background: Vitiligo is a depigmenting disease of unknown etiology. A more complete understanding of vitiligo and associated conditions will provide better insight into the etiology and potential treatment options for this condition. We sought to gather information regarding associated conditions and other epidemiologic data on vitiligo.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed of 135 patients with vitiligo seen between July 1, 2002 and June 30, 2005 at an academic medical center. Epidemiologic characteristics were recorded.

Results: The patient population consisted of 80 women and 55 men with mean age of presentation of 36.8 years and average disease duration of 5.7 years. Vitiligo vulgaris was the predominant type of vitiligo and hypothyroidism was the most common co-morbidity. Anti-thyroid peroxidase and anti-thyroglobulin antibodies were found in 37% and 18% of patients, respectively. The highest proportion of thyroid abnormalities was found in age of onset category 21-30. Anti-nuclear antibodies were found in 33% of patients.

Conclusion: The prevalence of anti-nuclear and anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies was higher in our vitiligo study than that reported elsewhere. In addition, autoimmune thyroid disease may be more common in adult-onset vitiligo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / epidemiology*
  • Hypothyroidism / immunology
  • Iodide Peroxidase / immunology
  • Los Angeles / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Vitiligo / epidemiology*
  • Vitiligo / immunology
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Iodide Peroxidase