Cardiovascular risk in patients with alopecia areata (AA): A propensity-matched retrospective analysis

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The cardiovascular risk of patients with alopecia areata (AA) is not well characterized, with limited studies evaluating the risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and ischemic stroke.


We sought to determine the risk for patients with AA to develop subsequent stroke and AMI.


We conducted propensity-matched retrospective analysis between January 1, 2000, and January 1, 2010, from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. A comprehensive research patient data repository search was done for International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision code 704.01 and cases were verified using a natural language processing program. Propensity score matching was used to identify controls for AA cases based on age, race, gender, smoking status, and history of hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia.


We identified 1377 cases of AA matched with 4131 controls. Patients with AA had decreased odds for developing stroke (odds ratio 0.39, 95% CI 0.18-0.87) and a trend toward decreased risk of AMI (odds ratio 0.91, 95% CI 0.59-1.39).


This was a retrospective study using a clinical database.


Patients with AA had decreased risk for stroke and AMI, although not statistically significant. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings in other AA cohorts and to elucidate a potential mechanism.

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