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April 1960

Diffuse Alopecia in Women: Its Unexplained Apparent Increase in Incidence

AMA Arch Derm. 1960;81(4):556-560. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.03730040060011

During the past few years we have had the impression that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of female patients complaining of diffuse loss of hair of the scalp. A review of the card index of the diagnoses of the patients seen in our practice confirmed this impression (Table 1).*

As there had been no similar increase in any of our other diagnoses nor in the total number of patients seen per year, this sharp increase in diffuse female alopecias was striking.

In the attempt to find out whether this observation was limited to our practice, or whether other dermatologists have seen similar increases in the incidence of this complaint, a questionnaire was sent to the members of the American Dermatological Association.† The questionnaire was worded as follows:

  1. During the last five years I have seen an increase of alopecia diffusa in women.


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