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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Aug;53(2):220-3.

Increased prevalence of chronic autoimmune (Hashimoto's) thyroiditis in children and adolescents with vitiligo.

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  • 1First Department of Pediatrics, Athens University Medical School, Aghia Sophia Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece.



An increased prevalence of autoimmune (Hashimoto's) thyroiditis in adult patients with vitiligo has been described. This association has scarcely been studied in children.


We sought to assess children and adolescents with vitiligo for autoimmune thyroid disorder and to identify any predisposing factors of this association.


In all, 54 children and adolescents (23 boys, 31 girls; mean age 11.4 years) with known vitiligo were studied by physical examination and laboratory studies.


Four patients with vitiligo were already known to have Hashimoto's thyroiditis. In 9 of the remaining 50 patients, autoimmune thyroiditis was revealed at the time of the investigation. Of the 54 patients with vitiligo, 13 (24.1%) had autoimmune thyroiditis as compared with 9.6% of school-aged children from an iodine-replete area of Greece ( P = .002). There was no association between thyroiditis and clinical type of vitiligo, age at onset, mean duration of vitiligo, or sex.


Hashimoto's thyroiditis is 2.5 times more frequent among children and adolescents with vitiligo than in a healthy age- and sex-matched population. It usually follows the onset of vitiligo. We propose that children and adolescents with vitiligo should be screened annually for thyroid dysfunction, particularly autoimmune thyroiditis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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