My fiance has alopecia universalis. He has no family history of this condition. Recently, I read that the disease is hereditary. This worries me. Please help me understand our future children's chance of developing alopecia universalis.
Alopecia universalis is believed to be a multifactorial condition, which means it is caused by a combination of environmental influences and genetic predisposition. Although the condition is not inherited directly, a predisposition to alopecia universalis can run in families. If one parent has alopecia areata or alopecia universalis (a more severe form of alopecia areata), the couple's child would have an estimated 6% lifetime risk for alopecia and a 2% lifetime risk for alopecia universalis.
Last updated: 11/23/2014
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van der Steen P, Traupe H, Happle R, Boezeman J, Strater R, Hamm H. The genetic risk for alopecia areata in first degree relatives of severely affected patients. An estimate [abstract]. Acta Derm Venerol. 1992; 72(5):373-375; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pubmed/?term=1361288. Accessed 7/3/2013.