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Alopecia areata and suicide of children

Rodney D Sinclair
Med J Aust 2014; 200 (3): 145. || doi: 10.5694/mja13.10895

To the Editor: Alopecia areata is the most prevalent human autoimmune disease.1 Hair follicle inflammation produces disfiguring circular patches of hair loss or total alopecia. Suicidal ideation is considered to be uncommon among people with alopecia areata.2 In 2011, there were four deaths of young Australian males affected by alopecia areata that were recorded by the coroner as suicide: two aged 14 years from Victoria, one aged 16 years from Queensland and one aged 17 years from Western Australia.

  • Rodney D Sinclair

  • Department of Dermatology, Epworth Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.


Acknowledgements: 

Acknowledgement: I thank Chel Campbell, President of the Australia Alopecia Areata Foundation, for alerting me to the cases.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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