Alopecia Areata Treatment Patterns, Healthcare Resource Utilization, and Comorbidities in the US Population Using Insurance Claims

Maryanne Senna, Justin Ko, Antonella Tosti, Emily Edson-Heredia, D. Christian Fenske, Amy K. Ellinwood, Maria Jose Rueda, Baojin Zhu, Brett King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune disorder causing sudden, non-scarring hair loss. There are currently no drugs approved for AA treatment. This study assessed prevalence of comorbidities, treatments, and healthcare costs and resource utilization among patients with AA in the USA. Methods: Patients diagnosed with AA between January 2011 and December 2018 were identified in IBM MarketScan® Research Databases. Eligible patients had no other hair loss-related disorders and were continuously enrolled with medical and pharmacy benefits at least 12 months before and after AA diagnosis. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize comorbid conditions, treatments related to AA or other autoimmune/inflammatory conditions, and all-cause and AA-specific healthcare costs and resource utilization identified from claims data. Results: A total of 68,121 patients with AA were identified. Mean (SD) age was 40.3 (17.8) years and 61.0% were female. The most common comorbidities included hyperlipidemia (22.4%), hypertension (21.8%), thyroid disorders (13.1%), contact dermatitis or eczema (10.8%), depression (9.5%), and anxiety (8.4%). Comorbid autoimmune diseases included atopic dermatitis (2.8%), psoriasis (2.1%), chronic urticaria (1.5%), and rheumatoid arthritis (1.1%). During the 12-month follow-up period, 37,995 patients (55.8%) were prescribed treatment for their AA or other comorbid autoimmune/inflammatory disease; 44.9% of treated patients were prescribed therapy within 7 days of AA diagnosis. Of patients receiving treatment, 80.3% received topical steroids and 30.0% received oral steroids. Mean (SD) total healthcare costs were $11,241.21 ($43,839.69) for all-causes and $419.12 ($1534.99) for AA. AA-related expenses were driven by outpatient and prescription costs. Conclusion: Patients with AA have a high comorbidity burden and lack of treatment. Current AA treatments, including systemic therapies other than oral steroids, were not frequently utilized in this study population. Healthcare costs incurred by patients with AA went beyond AA-related expenses. Longitudinal data are needed to better understand treatment trajectories and the disease burden in patients with AA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4646-4658
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in Therapy
Volume38
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Alopecia areata
  • Comorbidity
  • Healthcare costs
  • Healthcare utilization
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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