Increased Risk for Incident Rosacea Associated With Obesity in Women

An overweight woman measuring her waist.
An overweight woman measuring her waist.
Investigators believe this is the first longitudinal study to observe the risk for incident rosacea and obesity measurements other than body mass index only.

An increased risk for incident rosacea has been associated with obesity among women in the United States, according to the results of a recent epidemiologic, prospective cohort study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

A total of 89,886 women from the Nurses’ Health Study II, conducted between 1991 and 2005, participated in the analysis. In 2005, data on the history of clinician-diagnosed rosacea and year of diagnosis were compiled. Information related to obesity was collected biennially during follow-up.

The investigators identified 5249 cases of incident rosacea over the course of 14 years of follow-up. The risk for rosacea increased significantly according to a participant’s body mass index (BMI; Ptrend <.0001).

Compared with a BMI of 21.0 to 22.9 kg/m2, the hazard ratio for rosacea was 0.99 (95% CI, 0.90-1.09) for a BMI lower than 21 kg/m2, 1.03 (95% CI, 0.94-1.13) for a BMI of 23 to 24.9 kg/m2, 1.11 (95% CI, 1.02-1.21) for a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9, 1.21 (95% CI, 1.09-1.34) for a BMI of 30.0 to 34.9 kg/m2, and 1.48 (95% CI, 1.33-1.64) for a BMI of at least 35 kg/m2.

A trend toward an increased risk for rosacea was observed among women who had gained weight after 18 years of age (Ptrend <.0001), with a hazard ratio of 1.04 (95% CI, 1.03-1.05) per 10-pound weight gain. Moreover, a significant risk for rosacea was associated with a higher waist circumference and hip circumference (Ptrend <.0001), an association that was independent of BMI.

A limitation of this study is that it did not explore the mechanisms underlying the association between obesity and rosacea. The analysis suggests that measures of overall and central obesity both appear to be associated with an increased risk for rosacea among women.

The investigators concluded that the results of this study contribute to the understanding of rosacea, and are beneficial in informing clinical and public health practices related to rosacea prevention and patient care.

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Li S, Cho E, Drucker AM, Qureshi AA, Li WQ. Obesity and risk for incident rosacea in US women. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017;77(6):1083-1087.