In the past, several authors described an association of vitiligo with autoimmune disorders and the presence of different tissue autoantibodies. A review of the literature showed large differences in the results. Therefore, 321 patients with vitiligo (male/female ratio 114/207) were examined to see whether the frequencies of associated diseases and phenomena (i.e. Koebner phenomenon, canities praecox, halo nevi, poliosis circumscripta), the number of pigmented lesions and the presence of autoantibodies are of significance in order to support (a) a subentity of childhood vitiligo and (b) whether there is a true predisposition or association of autoimmune or other diseases in this group of patients. The data confirm earlier results of a prevalence of thyroid disease and the presence of thyroid antibodies, whereas other diseases are a random event. 6.2% of the patients had congenital nevi compared with 2.8% in a normal healthy population. Based on the results of this study and the significant higher risk for development of melanomas in this patient group, an annual checkup is recommended.

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