First author: Niki Nourmohammadi

The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with psychological stress, causing stress-sensitive skin disorders to flare up. Although hypothesized that these patients may be at an increased risk of severe COVID-19, the current study found that patients with alopecia areata were less likely to be hospitalized because of COVID-19.

The current study aimed to compare rates of COVID-19 infection and hospitalization among patients with alopecia areata, hypothesizing that people with autoimmune diseases are at an increased risk of COVID-19 hospitalization. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 5 university hospitals during the early stage of the pandemic (March – October 2020). Patients (n=269,299) were tested for SARS-CoV-2, of which 3.7% of alopecia areata patients tested positive for COVID-19. Of these positive alopecia areata patients, 8% were hospitalized. No patients died. When compared with the healthy study population, 3.6% received a positive test of which 19.2% were hospitalized, and 2.1% died. These results may indicate that alopecia areata patients are not at increased risk of severe COVID-19, expressed as hospitalization admission. However, this study was limited by the low number of alopecia areata patients that tested positive for COVID-19.

  1. Nourmohammadi N, et al. A Cross-Sectional Study on the Association Between COVID-19 Infection and Hospitalization in Patients with Alopecia Areata, poster 27804. AAD VMX 2021, 23-25 April.