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Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 13;9(1):4406. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-40658-8.

A Nationwide, Population-based Cohort Study on Potential Autoimmune Association of Ménière Disease to Atopy and Vitiligo.

Hahn HJ1,2, Kwak SG3, Kim DK4,5, Kim JY6,7,8.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
2
Myunggok Medical Research Institute, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
3
School of Medicine, Department of Medical Statistics, Catholic University of Daegu, Gyeongsan, South Korea.
4
Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea. doctordk@naver.com.
5
Institute of New Frontier Research, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea. doctordk@naver.com.
6
Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea. k@kyuh.ac.kr.
7
Department of Biomedical Informatics, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea. k@kyuh.ac.kr.
8
Myunggok Medical Research Institute, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea. k@kyuh.ac.kr.

Abstract

Ménière disease (MD), an idiopathic disorder of sensorineural hearing loss and vertigo, shares many similarities with two common skin conditions, atopic dermatitis (AD) and vitiligo. Recent studies have suggested that MD may be related to or triggered by autoimmune conditions, notably Hashimoto thyroiditis and alopecia areata. These evidences led to the authors contemplating the possibility of immunological bridge between MD and the two skin conditions. The authors have tested this hypothesis with population-based cohort from the National Health Insurance Service Database of Korea. A cohort of 1.1 million patients was extracted from the database. Using χ2 tests, prevalence of the two skin disorders in relation to MD status was analysed. In MD patients, the odds ratios for having concurrent AD and vitiligo were 0.717 (95% CI, 0.535-0.962, p = 0.026) and 2.149 (95% CI, 1.396-3.308, p = 0.001), respectively. Females and older patients were more than twice likely to be affected by the two skin conditions. The relationship between vitiligo and MD was significant in younger subgroup only. Socio-economic subgroup analysis revealed the observed patterns are primarily a middle-upper class phenomenon. Uncertainty regarding temporal sequence of onset, and lack of detail on disease severity and subtype kept the study from more refined conclusion. In concluding, AD and vitiligo might be linked to MD through Treg-driven action of cellular immunity, but further big data-based investigations must follow.

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