Ocular Disease Risk Elevated in Patients With Rosacea and

Glaucoma, dry eye, cataracts, and diabetic macular edema are all more likely to occur in individuals with diabetes who have rosacea than in those without rosacea, according to a presentation at the AAD.

The following article is a part of conference coverage from the 2022 American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting , held live from March 25 through March 29 in Boston, Massachusetts. The team at Dermatology Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by leading experts in dermatology. Check back for more from the 2022 AAD Annual Meeting .


The risk for the ocular diseases diabetic macular edema, glaucoma, dry eye disease, and cataracts are all elevated in patients who have both diabetes and rosacea, according to research presented at the American Academy of Dermatology 2022 meeting held March 25th-29th in Boston, Massachusetts. The investigators presented what they believe is the first study to show an association between diabetes with the inflammatory dermatological disorder and ocular disease.

The researchers conducted a long-term retrospective cohort nationwide database study of patients (N=2,099,303) with diabetes mellitus who used any hypoglycemic agents from 1997 to 2013.

Patients had a mean follow-up period of 5 years. During that time, those with rosacea (n=5459) had significantly higher risks for diabetic macular edema (subdistribution hazard ratio [SHR] 1.31; 95% CI, 1.05-1.63) and dry eye disease (SHR 1.55, 1.38-1.75) than patients who did not have rosacea (n=2,093,844). They also had higher risk of requiring cataract surgery (SHR 1.13, 1.02-1.25) and medical treatment for glaucoma (SHR 1.11, 1.01-1.21), according to the study data.

Rosacea is not only a cutaneous disease, according to the research. It’s a chronic, systemic inflammatory condition that is likely related to the gut-brain-skin axis that merely presents across the face. This inflammatory component is also seen in diabetic eye diseases.

Ocular diseases were not the only significant associations for individuals with both diabetes and rosacea. Patients with both conditions also showed increased incidence of psoriasis, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression.


Wang FY, Kang EYC, Liu CH, et al. Association between rosacea and eye diseases in patients with diabetes: a nationwide cohort study. Presented at: the 2022 AAD Annual Meeting; March 25-29, 2022. Abstract/Poster 34751.

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