Background: Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune disease, based on the response to local and/or systemic corticosteroid treatment. The role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of immune/autoimmune mediated diseases has been widely studied.
Objectives: To investigate a possible association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and alopecia areata.
Methods: The study included 23 patients diagnosed with AA followed at our outpatient clinic during the period March 2010 to May 2011, as well as a control group matched for age and gender. All subjects underwent a complete work-up and medical examination, anthropometric measurements and laboratory tests. Laboratory tests included complete blood count, C-reactive protein (CRP), and vitamin D levels.
Results: Mean CRP values were significantly higher in the AA group than the control group (1.1 +/- 0.7 mg/dl vs. 0.4 +/- 0.8 mg/ dl, P < 0.05). Vitamin D levels were significantly decreased in the AA group (11.32 +/- 10.18 ng/ml vs. 21.55 +/- 13.62 ng/ml in the control group, P < 0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that CRP (odds ratio 3.1, 95% confidence interval 2.6-4.2, P = 0.04) and serum vitamin D levels < 30 ng/ml (OR 2.3, 95% CI 2.2-3.1, P = 0.02) were associated with AA.
Conclusions: We found a significant correlation between AA and vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency can be a significant risk factor for AA occurrence.