In the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology a link has been fount by various studies that multiple new disease associations with vitiligo, including multiple sclerosis, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), and lymphoma. Study results also affirmed known associations between vitiligo and certain autoimmune diseases, including hypothyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis.

Investigators conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients with vitiligo who presented to NYU Langone Medical Center for medical care. All available records from 2005 to 2015 were reviewed. Demographic and clinical data were extracted, including vitiligo type and body surface area of involvement. Medical history, including the presence of comorbid conditions, was assessed. Univariate analyses were performed to compare the prevalence rates of each comorbidity in the patient cohort.

The study cohort comprised 1487 patients with vitiligo, among whom 55.1% were women and 46.7% were white. The most common comorbidities were hypothyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis, which were present in 7.6% and 1.6% of the cohort, respectively. Compared with the general population, the vitiligo cohort had a 1.65-fold higher prevalence of hypothyroidism (P <.0001) and a 2.14-fold higher prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis (P =.001).

Patients also had a significantly higher prevalence of multiple sclerosis (4.48-fold increase; P <.0001), ITP (70-fold increase; P <.0001), seronegative arthritis (3.68-fold increase; P <.0001), pernicious anemia (2.73-fold increase; P =.012), myasthenia gravis (13.33-fold increase; P <.0001), inflammatory bowel disease (2.13-fold increase; P =.002), lymphoma (3.33-fold increase; P <.0001), and systemic lupus erythematosus (4.11-fold increase; P <.0001).