Anaemia in Dermatitis Herpetiformis: Prevalence and Associated Factors at Diagnosis and One-year Follow-up

Anna Alakoski, Camilla Pasternack, Timo Reunala, Katri Kaukinen, Heini Huhtala, Eriika Mansikka, Juha Jernman, Kaisa Hervonen, Teea Salmi

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Dermatitis herpetiformis is a cutaneous manifestation of coeliac disease. Anaemia is a common finding in patients with untreated coeliac disease, but little is known about the occurrence of anaemia in those with dermatitis herpetiformis. This study investigated the prevalence of anaemia and factors associated with anaemia in 250 patients with dermatitis herpetiformis, at diagnosis and one year after diagnosis. As controls, 139 patients with coeliac disease were included. Patient records were reviewed to gather baseline clinical, histological, and laboratory data. Follow-up data for patients with dermatitis herpetiformis were collected from patient records and via questionnaires or at follow-up visits. The prevalence of anaemia was 12% in patients with dermatitis herpetiformis and 17% in patients with coeliac disease at diagnosis (p = 0.257). Anaemia in patients with dermatitis herpetiformis was not associated with the severity of skin symptoms or small bowel damage. The prevalence of anaemia at a 1-year follow-up had increased to 19%, but it was associated mainly with dapsone treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberadv00443
JournalActa dermato-venereologica
Issue number4
Early online date13 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • dapsone
  • gluten-free diet
  • villous atrophy
  • coeliac disease

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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