Alopecia areata (AA) affects approximately 2.1% of the population and does not discriminate based on sex or ethnicity. Anyone can have alopecia areata. It often begins in childhood. If you have a close family member with the disease, your risk of developing it is slightly increased. If your family member lost his or her first patch of hair before age 30, the risk to other family members is greater. Overall, one in five people with the disease has a family member who has it as well.

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