Background: Alopecia areata (AA) is a common localized nonscarring hair loss. Vitamin D and such trace elements as zinc have significant immunomodulatory roles and are reduced in many autoimmune diseases. We aim to evaluate the zinc and vitamin D levels in AA patients belonging to an Iranian population.
Methods: We randomly recruited 77 patients with AA, and 112 age- and sex-matched normal subjects. Serum zinc and vitamin D levels were measured and compared between groups. Patients were considered vitamin D deficient or insufficient if 25-OH vitamin D levels were <10 and 10 to 30 ng/ml, respectively.
Results: Disease duration was 6.73±1.05 months. Compared to the control group, AA patients had significantly lower zinc (87.78±20.61 vs. 92.76±28.00, p=0.008) and vitamin D levels (20.23±11.11 vs. 25.63±15.90, p=0.01) and higher vitamin D deficiency (19.5% vs. 10.7%, p=0.03). There were significant correlations between AA duration and zinc levels (r=0.483, p<0.001); no recognizable relationship, on the other hand, was observed with vitamin D
levels (r=0.022, p=0.84).
Conclusion: There were significantly lower levels of zinc and vitamin D in AA patients, compared to normal subjects. Zinc level is inversely correlated with disease duration, and both zinc and vitamin D play crucial roles in AA pathogenesis and are possible supplements in AA treatment.