Harris JE, Bibeau K, Hamzavi IH, Grimes P, Lindley A, LaFiura C, and Ezzedine K. 34612 Exploring the natural history of vitiligo in the United States: Findings from the VALIANT study. J Am Acad Dermatol 2022; 87(3):AB167.
J Am Acad Dermatol
Vitiligo is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by the destruction of melanocytes, resulting in depigmented skin lesions. Epidemiology studies in vitiligo are often limited to smaller sample sizes and rely on dermatology clinics as the source population. The population-based Vitiligo and Life Impact Among International Communities (VALIANT) study sought to understand the natural history of vitiligo among patients around the world. Here, data from US participants are presented. Participants were recruited via an online panel. Adults (aged ≥18 years) who self-reported a vitiligo diagnosis by a health care professional were eligible to participate. Of 608 US patients, 58% were male; median (range) age at the time of the survey was 36 (18–83) years. Mean disease duration was 11 years, with a mean 1.6 years between first noticing lesions and achieving a formal diagnosis. More than one-third of patients were previously misdiagnosed (37%), with higher rates among patients with darker skin types (67% for Fitzpatrick types IV–VI). Nearly two-thirds (62%) directly sought treatment for vitiligo; vitiligo was an incidental finding in the remaining 38%. Nearly two-thirds (64%) were diagnosed by a dermatologist, or a nurse practitioner or physician assistant in a dermatology-focused practice. Most patients (71%) noted a family history of vitiligo (comparable paternal vs maternal). Median body surface area affected by vitiligo was 4.23%, as measured by the self-assessed Vitiligo Extent Scale. In summary, these findings provide a new perspective on the diagnosis journey for patients with vitiligo and highlight the need for accurate, more timely diagnosis.