Moderate to Severe Rosacea Associated With Chronic Kidney Disease

Rosacea on cheek
Rosacea on cheek
Rosacea has long been considered a skin disease, but new research shows an association between rosacea and extracutaneous disease, suggesting its systemic effects.

Patients with rosacea, especially those with moderate to severe disease, have an increased risk for development of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which cannot be totally elucidated by the assessment of traditional risk factors, according to the results of a recent retrospective cohort study published in PLoS One.

A total of 277 patients with rosacea were identified in the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database as study participants. Data obtained from individuals who received a new rosacea diagnosis between January 2001 and December 2005 during ambulatory visits or inpatient care episodes were analyzed. To ensure validity, all participants needed to have ≥2 diagnoses of rosacea from a dermatologist. The enrollees were matched for gender, age, and comorbidities with 2216 individuals without rosacea. 

The primary outcome was first ambulatory visit, hospitalization, or surgical procedure for CKD. All study participants and comparison cohorts were followed for 8 to 12 years from their index enrollment date in order to investigate their risk for developing CKD. In both the study and control groups, approximately 71% of patients were women and 29% were men; participant age ranged from 30 to 49.

Median interval to CKD was 9.92 years, with no significant difference between patients with rosacea (9.80 years) and patients without rosacea (9.95 years). The overall CKD incidence rate was higher in patients with rosacea compared with controls (16.02 vs 10.63 person-years, respectively). The development of CKD was 50% more likely in patients with rosacea than in controls (hazard ratio [HR] 1.51; 95% CI, 1.08-2.09; P <.05) — an association that remained significant after adjustment for other covariates (adjusted HR 1.40; 95% CI, 1.01-1.96; P <.05). Patients with moderate to severe rosacea had a significantly higher HR for CKD compared with non-rosacea controls (sub-distribution HR 2.53; 95% CI, 1.11-5.75; P =.026).

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“Rosacea has long been considered a disease limited to the skin, but an increasing number of studies have found an association between rosacea and extracutaneous diseases, which suggests it has far-reaching systemic effects,” concluded the researchers.


Chiu HY, Huang WY, Ho CH, et al. Increased risk of chronic kidney disease in patients with rosacea: A nationwide population-based matched cohort study. PLoS One. 2017;12(10):e0180446.