Prevalence of Depression in Vitiligo Patients-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


  • Vinita John Primary Health Care Corporation, Doha, Qatar
  • Mohammed Omar Alsadi Primary Health Care Corporation, Doha, Qatar



vitligo, Depression, Prevalence, Risk Factors


Background: the incidence of depression in vitiligo patients ranges from 10% to over 60%, depending on the outcome measures, sample size and study population. The purpose is to estimate the prevalence of depression among vitiligo patients by conducting a systematic review and metanalysis of published studies.

Methods: we conducted a literature search on Medline via PubMed, Scopus, web of science and Cochrane library.

Results: 35 studies finally met our inclusion criteria. Our findings showed that the overall prevalence of depression among patients with vitiligo was 35 % (26%-45). Moreover, we observed a variation in the prevalence based on the used tool. For example, the GHQ revealed 30% (20%-39%) and the HDRS revealed 50% (44% - 57%). Our analysis demonstrated no significant differences between vitiligo and healthy cases in terms of HDRS and DBI. Moreover, there was no significant differences between vitiligo and psoriasis in terms of GHQ and BDI scores.

Conclusion: in conclusion the current evidence suggests that patients with vitiligo have a high risk and prevalence of depression, different questionnaires have yielded variable prevalence due to the different domains and validation method.


Silverberg NB. The Epidemiology of Vitiligo. Curr Dermatol Rep. 2015;4(1):36-43. Doi:

Le Poole IC, van den Wijngaard RM, Westerhof W, Dutrieux RP, Das PK. Presence or absence of melanocytes in vitiligo lesions: an immunohistochemical investigation. J Invest Dermatol. 1993 Jun;100(6):816-22. Doi: PMid:7684427

Tobin DJ, Swanson NN, Pittelkow MR, Peters EM, Schallreuter KU. Melanocytes are not absent in lesional skin of long duration vitiligo. J Pathol. 2000 Aug;191(4):407-16. Doi:<::AID-PATH659>3.0.CO;2-D

Schmid-Ott G, Künsebeck H-W, Jecht E, Shimshoni R, Lazaroff I, Schallmayer S, et al. Stigmatization experience, coping and sense of coherence in vitiligo patients. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2007 Apr;21(4):456-61. Doi: PMid:17373970

Ongenae K, Van Geel N, De Schepper S, Naeyaert JM. Effect of vitiligo on self-reported health-related quality of life. Br J Dermatol. 2005 Jun;152(6):1165-72. Doi: PMid:15948977

Kent G, al-Abadie M. Factors affecting responses on Dermatology Life Quality Index items among vitiligo sufferers. Clin Exp Dermatol. 1996 Sep;21(5):330-3. Doi: PMid:9136149

Ongenae K, Dierckxsens L, Brochez L, van Geel N, Naeyaert JM. Quality of life and stigmatization profile in a cohort of vitiligo patients and effect of the use of camouflage. Dermatology. 2005;210(4):279-85. Doi: PMid:15942213

Kent G, Al'Abadie M. Psychologic effects of vitiligo: a critical incident analysis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1996 Dec;35(6):895-8. Doi:

Picardi A, Abeni D, Melchi CF, Puddu P, Pasquini P. Psychiatric morbidity in dermatological outpatients: an issue to be recognized. Br J Dermatol. 2000 Nov;143(5):983-91. Doi: PMid:11069507

Mattoo SK, Handa S, Kaur I, Gupta N, Malhotra R. Psychiatric morbidity in vitiligo: prevalence and correlates in India. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2002 Nov;16(6):573-8. Doi: PMid:12482039

Yanik ME, Erfan G, Albayrak Y, Aydin M, Kulac M, Kuloglu M. Reduced serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor in patients with first onset vitiligo. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2014;10:2361-7. Doi: PMid:25540586 PMCid:PMC4270357

Krüger C, Schallreuter KU. Stigmatisation, Avoidance Behaviour and Difficulties in Coping are Common Among Adult Patients with Vitiligo. Acta Derm Venereol. 2015 May;95(5):553-8. Doi: PMid:25269389

GUZE SB. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. (DSM-IV). Am J Psychiatry. 1995 Aug;152(8):1228. Doi:

Mattoo SK, Handa S, Kaur I, Gupta N, Malhotra R. Psychiatric morbidity in vitiligo and psoriasis: a comparative study from India. J Dermatol. 2001 Aug;28(8):424-32. Doi: PMid:11560159

Kaushal K. Comment on: Quality of Life and Psychological Morbidity in Vitiligo Patients: A Study in a Teaching Hospital from North-East India. Indian J Dermatol. 2015;60(5):512. Doi: PMid:26538706 PMCid:PMC4601426

Whitton ME, Pinart M, Batchelor J, Leonardi-Bee J, González U, Jiyad Z, et al. Interventions for vitiligo. Cochrane database Syst Rev. 2015 Feb;(2):CD003263. Doi: PMid:25710794

Namazi MR. Prescribing cyclic antidepressants for vitiligo patients: which agents are superior, which are not? Vol. 72, Psychotherapy and psychosomatics. Switzerland; 2003. p. 361-2. Doi: PMid:14526142

Firooz A, Bouzari N, Fallah N, Ghazisaidi B, Firoozabadi MR, Dowlati Y. What patients with vitiligo believe about their condition. Int J Dermatol. 2004 Nov;43(11):811-4. Doi: PMid:15533062

Morrone A, Picardo M, de Luca C, Terminali O, Passi S, Ippolito F. Catecholamines and vitiligo. Pigment cell Res. 1992 Mar;5(2):65-9. Doi: PMid:1321419

Stokes PE, Sikes CR. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis in major depression. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 1988 Mar;17(1):1-19. Doi:

Mohammed GF, Gomaa AH, Al-Dhubaibi MS. Highlights in pathogenesis of vitiligo. World J Clin cases. 2015 Mar;3(3):221-30. Doi: PMid:25789295 PMCid:PMC4360494

Gupta V, Sreenivas V, Mehta M, Khaitan BK, Ramam M. Measurement properties of the Vitiligo Impact Scale-22 (VIS-22), a vitiligo-specific quality-of-life instrument. Br J Dermatol. 2014 Nov;171(5):1084-90. Doi: PMid:24805089

Jha A, Mehta M, Khaitan BK, Sharma VK, Ramam M. Cognitive behavior therapy for psychosocial stress in vitiligo. Vol. 82, Indian journal of dermatology, venereology and leprology. United States; 2016. p. 308-10. Doi: PMid:27088935

Nguyen CM, Beroukhim K, Danesh MJ, Babikian A, Koo J, Leon A. The psychosocial impact of acne, vitiligo, and psoriasis: a review. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016 Oct;9:383-92. Doi: PMid:27799808 PMCid:PMC5076546

Sharma N, Koranne R V, Singh RK. Psychiatric morbidity in psoriasis and vitiligo: a comparative study. J Dermatol. 2001 Aug;28(8):419-23. Doi: PMid:11560158

Lai YC, Yew YW, Kennedy C, Schwartz RA. Vitiligo and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Br J Dermatol. 2017 Sep;177(3):708-18. Doi: PMid:27878819

Osinubi O, Grainge MJ, Hong L, Ahmed A, Batchelor JM, Grindlay D, et al. The prevalence of psychological comorbidity in people with vitiligo: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Dermatol. 2018 Apr;178(4):863-78. Doi: PMid:28991357

Wang G, Qiu D, Yang H, Liu W. The prevalence and odds of depression in patients with vitiligo: a meta-analysis. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2018 Aug;32(8):1343-51. Doi: PMid:29222958

Ahmed I, Ahmed S, Nasreen S. Frequency and pattern of psychiatric disorders in patients with vitiligo. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. 2007;19(3):19-21.

Sampogna F, Raskovic D, Guerra L, Pedicelli C, Tabolli S, Leoni L, et al. Identification of categories at risk for high quality of life impairment in patients with vitiligo. Br J Dermatol. 2008 Aug;159(2):351-9. Doi: PMid:18565189

Choi S, Kim D-Y, Whang S-H, Lee J-H, Hann S-K, Shin Y-J. Quality of life and psychological adaptation of Korean adolescents with vitiligo. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010 May;24(5):524-9. Doi: PMid:19807826

Ajose FOA, Parker RA, Merrall ELC, Adewuya AO, Zachariah MP. Quantification and comparison of psychiatric distress in African patients with albinism and vitiligo: a 5-year prospective study. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2014 Jul;28(7):925-32. Doi: PMid:23875952




How to Cite

John V, Alsadi MO. Prevalence of Depression in Vitiligo Patients-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Natl J Community Med [Internet]. 2022 Sep. 30 [cited 2024 May 29];13(09):592-601. Available from:



Systematic Review/ Meta Analysis