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The results of a 2020 study found racial disparities in rates clinician-diagnosed vitiligo. 

A 2020 study published in JAMA Dermatology indicates that Non-Whites, Latinx, and Hispanic patients in the United States (US) are more likely to live with undiagnosed vitiligo. This affects overall prevalence estimates for the US population.

A Vitiligo Study Was Conducted Using Survey Results

A cross-sectional, population-based vitiligo survey was conducted over 10 weeks. Participants who reported being diagnosed with vitiligo by a clinician (self-reported diagnosed) or reported having vitiligo by screening positive for undiagnosed vitiligo in the survey (self-reported undiagnosed) received an invitation to submit photographs for clinician review using a teledermatology mobile health application designed specifically for the study. 

The study sample was representative of the United States adult general population and contained participants ranging from 18 to 85 years of age. The mean age was 44.9 years, and 23,170 (56.7%) were female. The participant majority identified themselves as White, and 10.3% of participants identified themselves as being of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin. The greatest number of participants resided in the US South geographic region.

Latinos and Hispanics Are More Likely To Have Undiagnosed Cases of Vitiligo

The estimates of undiagnosed vitiligo were 0.61% (self-reported) and 0.29% (clinician-adjudicated). The research results suggest that up to 40% of adults with vitiligo in the US may be undiagnosed. This study found that there was a higher proportion of participants who were non-White or of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin among participants with undiagnosed vitiligo as compared with participants with diagnosed vitiligo.

This study provided important information regarding the prevalence of segmental (one side of the body) and non-segmental vitiligo (both sides of the body). However, the researchers felt that the high percentage of undiagnosed vitiligo participants and different rates across racial and ethnic demographic subpopulations should be studied further.

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Gandhi, K., Ezzedine, K., Anastassopoulos, K. P., Patel, R., Sikirica, V., Daniel, S. R., Napatalung, L., Yamaguchi, Y., Baik, R., & Pandya, A. G. (2022). Prevalence of Vitiligo Among Adults in the United States. JAMA Dermatol, 158(1), 43-50. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamadermatol.2021.4724