Content » Vol 74, Issue 2

Clinical Report

High frequency of thyroid dysfunction in patients with vitiligo.

Hegedüs L, Heidenheim M, Gervil M, Hjalgrim H, Høier-Madsen M
DOI: 10.2340/0001555574120123


An association between vitiligo and autoimmune thyroid disease has previously been suspected. This study was undertaken to determine the frequency and type of thyroid disease in 35 consecutive patients admitted because of vitiligo compared with a matched control group. One or more signs of thyroid disease was demonstrated in 15 out of 35 patients (43%) with vitiligo, as compared to 7 out of 35 (20%) in the matched control group (p = 0.04). Thyroid dysfunction - 6 patients with hyperthyroidism and 2 with hypothyroidism - was found in 8 out of 35 patients, as compared to no patient in the control group (p = 0.003). Nine patients had thyroid autoantibodies, compared to 2 controls, and 6 had an enlarged thyroid gland, compared to 5 subjects in the control group. There appears to be an increased frequency of clinical as well as subclinical thyroid disease in patients with vitiligo. Our findings support the theory of vitiligo being an autoimmune disease and indicate a need for screening vitiligo patients for thyroid disease.


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