Hidradenitis Suppurativa Associated With Insulin Resistance

Hidradenitis suppurativa
Hidradenitis suppurativa
The study results suggest that hidradenitis suppurativa is both a cutaneous disease and a chronic systemic inflammatory condition.

Patients with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) have a significantly higher incidence of insulin resistance (IR) than those without the disorder, suggesting that HS is both a cutaneous disease and a chronic systemic inflammatory condition linked with an increased cardiovascular risk, according to the results of a cross-sectional, case-control study conducted in Spain and published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

The study enrolled a total of 137 participants, 76 of whom had HS and 61 of whom were age- and gender-matched controls. In all participants, the homeostasis model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR) was calculated through the measurement of fasting plasma glucose and insulin levels.

Among patients with HS, the median HOMA-IR value was significantly higher than that of controls (2.0; range, 1.0-3.6 vs 1.5; range, 0.9-2.3, respectively; P =.01). Moreover, the prevalence of IR was significantly higher among those with HS compared with controls (43.4% vs 16.4%; P =.001).

After adjustment for age, gender, and body mass index, HS continued to be a significant risk factor for a higher HOMA-IR value (2.51±0.18 vs 1.92±0.21; P =.04). When patients with HS were grouped according to severity of disease, the HOMA-IR value and the prevalence of IR did not differ significantly.

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Based on the current study results demonstrating an increased frequency of IR among patients with HS, it is important to control modifiable cardiovascular risk factors based on current guidelines and to monitor serum glucose levels, the investigators concluded. Further research is warranted to learn whether biologic therapy has a beneficial effect on IR in this population.


Vilanova I, Hernández JL, Mata C, et al. Insulin resistance in hidradenitis suppurativa: a case-control study [published online February 27, 2018]. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. doi:10.1111/jdv.14894