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Summary

Background  Vitiligo/nonsegmental vitiligo (NSV) is often associated with thyroid dysimmunity although very few reports have studied this association using multivariate logistic regression.

Objective  To identify weighted factors associated with the presence of autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) in a large cohort of patients with vitiligo/NSV.

Methods  This was a prospective observational study in 626 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of vitiligo/NSV attending the vitiligo clinic of the University Hospital Department of Dermatology, Bordeaux, France, from 1 January 2006 to 1 May 2012. The Vitiligo European Task Force (VETF) questionnaire was completed for each consecutive patient. AITD was defined as the presence of significant levels of serum antithyroperoxidase antibodies or evidence of autoimmune thyroiditis. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression procedures were conducted to identify factors associated with AITD in this cohort of patients with vitiligo/NSV.

Results  A total of 626 patients with vitiligo/NSV were included, of whom 131 had AITD (AITD-vitiligo). Stress as an onset factor, familial history of AITD, body surface involvement and duration of the disease were positively associated with AITD-vitiligo using univariate analysis, whereas female sex, age at onset of vitiligo, personal history of autoimmune disease and localization on the trunk were found to be independently associated with AITD-vitiligo.

Conclusion  Vitiligo associated with AITD has clinical features distinct from vitiligo without AITD. In particular, female patients, and patients with longer duration of disease and greater body surface involvement are more likely to present with AITD and should thus be monitored for thyroid function and antithyroid antibodies on a regular basis.