An investigation of vitamin D status in alopecia areata

Clin Exp Med. 2018 Nov;18(4):577-584. doi: 10.1007/s10238-018-0511-8. Epub 2018 Jun 4.


Alopecia areata (AA) is a type of non-scarring, recurrent patchy loss of hair in hair-bearing areas and is mostly of autoimmune origin. Previous studies have suggested that some autoimmune diseases were found to be associated with vitamin D deficiency. The current study was designed to assess the levels of serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D and C-reactive protein in AA, as compared with controls and to further identify the association between vitamin D levels and disease severity in patients with AA. This cross-sectional study included 45 patients with AA and 45 healthy volunteers. Clinical and anthropometric parameters were recorded, according to a pre-designed proforma. Serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein were estimated using ELISA kits. The severity of AA was determined using Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) score. We observed a significant rise in systemic inflammation as seen by elevated high-sensitive C-reactive protein levels and lowered 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels in patients with alopecia areata, compared to controls (p = 0.001). The levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D showed a significant negative correlation with disease severity, while hs-CRP levels showed a significant positive correlation with disease severity (ρ = - 0.714, p = 0.001 and ρ = 0.818, p = 0.001). Our results suggest significant systemic inflammation and vitamin D deficiency in alopecia areata, more so with increasing disease severity. This gains particular importance in the treatment of alopecia areata in future, as supplementing vitamin D to AA patients would result in reducing the disease severity and inducing remission.

Keywords: 25-hydroxy vitamin D; Alopecia areata; High-sensitivity C-reactive protein; SALT score.

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia Areata* / blood
  • Alopecia Areata* / complications
  • Alopecia Areata* / physiopathology
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications


  • Vitamin D
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D