Analysis: Alopecia Areata Linked with Work Productivity Losses

March 10, 2024

Different demographic groups had different outcomes and financial burdens.

Results from a new real-world analysis illuminated demographic and clinical characteristics associated with productivity losses in individuals with alopecia areata.

“Patients with alopecia areata experience poor health-related quality of life and significant disease burden,” the authors wrote in the study poster. “For patients with alopecia areata, the burden of disease impacts work abilities, including impacts on work attendance and productivity. It is important to evaluate work productivity losses and the financial burden in patients with alopecia areata in the U.S.”

The analysis included 174 individuals with alopecia areata (46% female). The authors derived data from the Adelphi AA Disease Specific Programme (DSP), a point-in-time survey of real-world evidence from US dermatologists and patients with alopecia areata between July and September 2019. Participants self-completed Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI-AA) questionnaires. The researchers also looked at overall mean percentage of work impairment (OWI), absenteeism, presenteeism, activity impairment, and associated annual indirect costs as reported by sex, disease severity and status, and time since diagnosis.

According to the results, females with alopecia areata had significantly greater overall work and activity impairment versus men. Those patients with severe disease also had greater overall work impairment, presenteeism, and activity impairment than those with mild/moderate disease. Those patients with worsening/changeable disease had greater work and activity impairment versus those with stable or improving disease. Finally, Patients 5 or more years since diagnosis had significantly greater impairment across WPAI domains versus those who had 5 or fewer years since diagnosis.

For annual costs, females with alopecia areata saw greater indirect financial losses ($3,484 annually) than did males. Those with severe disease had increased financial burdens as well ($5,568 annually). The annual losses for those with worsening/severe disease were $5,637 more than those with improving disease. Those with more than 5 years since their diagnosis had more than $11,000 more in annual indirect costs than those with fewer than 5 years since diagnosis.

“Greater work productivity losses may create a substantial financial burden for patients with alopecia areata,” the researchers concluded of the results. “Earlier diagnosis and improved disease management may lessen the impact of alopecia areata and reduce the associated financial burden for patients with alopecia areata.”

Source: Mostaghimi A, et al. Real-world productivity losses and associated costs in patients with alopecia areata in the United States. Poster presentation. Presented at: American Academy of Dermatology 2024 Annual Meeting; March 8-12, 2024; San Diego.

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