Are Patients with Lichen Planopilaris at an Elevated Risk of Developing Other Diseases?

Review of article: Prevalence and incidence of comorbid diseases and mortality risk associated with lichen planopilaris: a Korean nationwide population-based study by Lim et al.

Article summary by Ogechi Ezemma | MD Candidate 2024 | The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Lichen planopilaris (LPP) is one of the most common scarring hair loss disorders. While LPP is suspected to be associated with several autoimmune and hormonal disorders1-4, limited information is available about whether individuals with LPP are more likely to get other diseases due to the limited size of studies and lack of long-term follow-up. To better understand this, Lim et al. conducted a national database study to see how often people with LPP get other diseases and if they were at a higher risk of dying.5

This study enrolled about 2,000 adults diagnosed with LPP and compared them with roughly 41,000 individuals without LPP. The LPP group had notably higher rates of autoimmune conditions like systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lichen planus, and various allergic conditions such as atopic dermatitis and allergic rhinitis. Additionally, there was a connection between LPP, thyroid issues, and vitamin D deficiency.

However, when it came to certain heart-related problems like hypertension and dyslipidemia, there was no discernible increased risk among those with LPP. It remained uncertain whether patients with LPP had a higher risk of dying from the diseases mentioned earlier and other causes.

In summary, the study by Lim et al. highlights the medical conditions associated with LPP. It also sheds novel information on the incidence of new conditions after LPP diagnosis. The authors suggest that clinicians evaluate for these comorbidities in patients with lichen planopilaris.

See full article here.


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  2. Trager MH, Lavian J, Lee EY, et al. Medical comorbidities and sex distribution among patients with lichen planopilaris and frontal fibrosing alopecia: A retrospective cohort study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2021;84(6):1686-1689. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2020.08.015
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  4. Manatis-Lornell A, Okhovat JP, Marks DH, Hagigeorges D, Senna MM. Comorbidities in patients with lichen planopilaris: A retrospective case-control study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020;83(1):205-208. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2019.07.018
  5. Lim SH, Kang H, Heo YW, Lee S, Lee WS. Prevalence and Incidence of Comorbid Diseases and Mortality Risk Associated with Lichen Planopilaris: A Korean Nationwide Population-Based Study [published online ahead of print, 2023 Jul 11]. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2023;llad235. doi:10.1093/ced/llad235