International Journal of Trichology International Journal of Trichology
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 81-85

Androgenetic alopecia: Quality-of-life and associated lifestyle patterns

1 Department of Psychiatry, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Skin & VD, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Neena Sawant
10/10 Vijay Residency, N.P. Road, Wadala, Mumbai - 400 031, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 21712908

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Background : Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a condition, which is an important psychosocial problem. The hormonal variations causing AGA are known, but whether behavioral patterns and lifestyle influence the condition and which age groups they influence is uncertain and such factors have not been studied in detail. Objectives: To compare association of lifestyle patterns with androgenetic alopecia, prevalence of psychiatric symptoms and resulting quality-of-life (QoL) between two age groups of males with AGA. Materials and Methods: Male subjects in each of the two age groups attending the hair clinic diagnosed with AGA were administered a questionnaire on lifestyle patterns. HAIRDEX and symptom checklist-90 (SCL-90) to study the presence of psychosocial problems and QoL were used. The stress experienced by such patients was studied by a stressful life events scale. Results: Of the 37 patients studied, 23 were in younger age group (average age) and 14 were in the older age group (average age). No significant difference was found in lifestyle, as far as eating habits, physical activity, occupational activity and leisure time were concerned. However, the younger age group had a significantly better psychological health. (P=0.013). On assessing the QoL, self-assurance seemed better in younger age group (P=0.014), reflecting changing societal trends, causing better acceptance of hair loss. On the other subscales, emotions seemed to be more affected in the younger age group, while older patients had worse functioning, more symptoms and more sense of stigmatization. On assessing SCL-90, no significant psychopathological difference was found between both the groups; however the older patients appeared to have more psychological symptoms on almost all scales scoring highly on obsessive-compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity and depression subscales. No significant difference in stressful life events at the time of onset of alopecia was noticed although older patients scored higher on this scale. Family history was found to be significantly associated with the onset of alopecia (P=0.0448). Conclusions: We concluded that lifestyle factors and stressful life events are not significantly affected by the onset of AGA. Only heredity seems to be associated with hair loss. Quality-of-life is affected in both the age groups but younger patients seem to have better self-assurance as well as better psychological health.

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