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Spot Baldness (Alopecia Areata) 4.1 X more likely if low vitamin D – meta-analysis Aug 2020

Association of Alopecia Areata with Vitamin D and Calcium Levels: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Review Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2020 Aug 9. doi: 10.1007/s13555-020-00433-4
Yi Liu 1, Jing Li 2, Guirong Liang 2, Chaojiang Cheng 2, Yue Li 2, Xinfeng Wu 3


Introduction: To investigate the associations of alopecia areata (AA) with serum vitamin D and calcium levels.

Methods: A systematic review of all relevant articles published up to February 2020 in PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases was conducted. Primary endpoints were serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels and vitamin D deficiency, and the secondary endpoint was serum calcium level. Odds ratio (OR) and standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% CI across studies were analyzed.

Results: Data on 1585 patients with AA and 1114 controls from 16 case-control studies and three cross-sectional studies were included in this meta-analysis. A pooled meta-analysis was conducted using the random-effects model because of inter-study heterogeneity (vitamin D level, I2 = 87.90%; vitamin D deficiency, I2 = 81.10%; serum calcium level, I2 = 83.80%). A combined analysis revealed that patients with AA had significantly lower mean serum 25(OH)D level compared with control (WMD - 9.08, 95% CI - 11.65, - 6.50, p < 0.001), and were more likely to have vitamin D deficiency (OR 4.14, 95% CI 2.34, 7.35, p < 0.001). However, the pooled analysis revealed that patients with AA did not have significantly lower serum calcium levels compared with control (WMD - 0.17, 95% CI - 0.40, 0.06, p = 0.143). Subgroup analysis suggested that matched control, mean age, and country might contribute to the heterogeneity of serum vitamin D level, while study design, matched control, and country might contribute to the heterogeneity of vitamin D deficiency.

Conclusion: Deficiency of serum 25(OH)D level, rather than calcium level, was present in patients with AA. Screening for vitamin D deficiency and vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial in the treatment of patients with AA.

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