Vitiligo is a chronic disease characterized by the dysfunction or destruction of melanocytes with secondary depigmentation. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of vitiligo associated with autoimmune rheumatic diseases. The clinical records from a 10-year database of patients with rheumatic diseases and associated vitiligo was analysed, with one group of patients having autoimmune rheumatic disease and another non-autoimmune rheumatic disease. Available serum samples were used to assess the anti-melanocyte antibodies. A total of 5,251 individual clinical files were archived in the last 10 years, and these patients underwent multiple rheumatology consultations, with 0.3% of the group presenting with vitiligo. The prevalence of vitiligo in the autoimmune rheumatic disease group was 0.672%, which was mainly associated with lupus and arthritis. However, patients with more than one autoimmune disease had an increased relative risk to develop vitiligo, and anti-melanocyte antibodies were positive in 92% of these patients. By contrast, the prevalence was 0.082% in the group that lacked autoimmune rheumatic disease and had negative autoantibodies. In conclusion, the association between vitiligo and autoimmune rheumatic diseases was relatively low. However, the relative risk increased when there were other autoimmune comorbidities, such as thyroiditis or celiac disease. Therefore, the presence of multiple autoimmune syndromes should be suspected.
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