Central Hair Loss Prevalent in African-American Women

Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia may be tied to diabetes, certain hairstyles

WEDNESDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) appears to be highly prevalent in African-American women, and may be associated with type 2 diabetes, bacterial scalp infections, and hairstyles associated with traction, according to research published in the April issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Angela Kyei, M.D., M.P.H., of the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues evaluated 326 African-American women for CCCA to investigate medical and environmental risk factors for the condition.

The researchers found that 28 percent had a central hair loss grade of 2 or higher, interpreted as clinically evident central hair loss and possible early CCCA. Of these subjects, 59 percent had advanced central hair loss with clinical signs of scarring (grade 3 or higher) consistent with CCCA. Incidence of type 2 diabetes was significantly higher in women with CCCA, who were also significantly more likely to have bacterial scalp infections and to wear hairstyles associated with traction (such as braids and weaves).

"Our survey results suggest that there is a high prevalence of central hair loss among African-American women. Hair styles causing traction as well as inflammation in the form of bacterial infection may be contributing to the development of CCCA. The increase in diabetes mellitus type 2 among those with CCCA is in line with the recent theory that cicatricial alopecia may be a manifestation of metabolic dysregulation," the authors write.

The study was supported in part by Proctor & Gamble.

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