Heartthrobs and Rosacea

Summary and Comment |
June 30, 2015

Heartthrobs and Rosacea

  1. Mark V. Dahl, MD

A Taiwanese study showed higher prevalences of hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, peripheral artery occlusive disease, and cerebral infarction in rosacea patients.

  1. Mark V. Dahl, MD

Many inflammatory diseases increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Although rosacea features vascular lability, the red skin of patients harbors inflammation. Is the risk for cardiovascular comorbidities increased among rosacea patients?

These investigators used a database covering 99.6% of Taiwan's population and 92% of its healthcare providers. A total of 33,553 patients with rosacea were age- and sex-matched to patients without rosacea. Cardiovascular comorbidities were discovered via a search of ICD-9-CM codes. The prevalence of diabetes did not vary between groups, but the presence of cardiovascular disease did (P<0.05). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed significant odds ratio elevations for hypertension (P<0.001, dyslipidemia (P<0.001), coronary artery disease (P<0.001) peripheral artery occlusive disease (P=0.039), and cerebral infarction (P=0.037) in the rosacea patients. As might be suspected, the risks increased with age. Comorbidities tended to occur before the onset of rosacea. Male subjects had higher risks for all comorbid diseases.


The odds ratios for these diseases were only slightly elevated: hypertension, 1.17; dyslipidemia, 1.41; coronary artery disease, 1.35; peripheral artery disease, 1.10; and cerebral infarction, 1.09; and the significant P values occur in this context because the “n” is so large. Nonetheless, the risk is increased. The cause is speculative. Analysis of rosacea subtypes was not done. Obviously, rosacea patients should practice healthy lifestyles with healthy nutrition and exercise, but I will not recommend routine screening of patients with rosacea for cardiovascular disease, at least not yet.

Editor Disclosures at Time of Publication

  • Disclosures for Mark V. Dahl, MD at time of publication Consultant / Advisory board Ulthera, Inc.; AuBio LifeSciences, LLC; Paris Therapeutics Equity Elorac, Inc.; Makucell, Inc.; Paris Therapeutics Editorial boards UpToDate Leadership positions in professional societies National Rosacea Society (Chairman, Medical Board)


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