Factors affecting quality of life in patients with vitiligo: a nationwide study

Br J Dermatol. 2018 Jan;178(1):238-244. doi: 10.1111/bjd.15560. Epub 2017 Nov 30.


Background: Little is known about factors affecting the quality of life (QoL) of patients with vitiligo, and previous studies have shown conflicting results.

Objectives: To explore the QoL of patients with vitiligo and to identify factors affecting QoL.

Methods: A nationwide questionnaire-based study was conducted with 1123 patients with vitiligo recruited from 21 hospitals in Korea from July 2015 to June 2016. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire for demographic information and the Skindex-29 instrument. Mild or severely impaired QoL in patients with vitiligo was assessed according to each domain (symptoms, functioning and emotions) of Skindex-29. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the factors associated with QoL.

Results: Of the enrolled participants, 609 were male and 514 female, with a mean age of 49·8 years (range 20-84). The median duration of disease was 3·0 years (range 0-60). Using multivariate logistic regression modelling, the involvement of visible body parts and a larger affected body surface area were consistently associated with QoL impairment in all three domains of Skindex-29. Additionally, the QoL of patients aged 20-59 years, who potentially had a more active social life than older patients, was associated with functional impairment. Furthermore, a higher educational background was associated with emotional impairment.

Conclusions: A multitude of factors significantly influence the QoL of patients with vitiligo. A better appreciation of these factors would help the management of these patients.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Attitude to Health
  • Body Image / psychology
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vitiligo / epidemiology
  • Vitiligo / psychology*
  • Young Adult