Rosacea Risk Influenced by Fatty Food, Dairy Intake

Acne rosacea
Acne rosacea on the face
Investigators assessed a possible link between rosacea and diet among the large Chinese population with rosacea, with the intention of providing dietary guidelines for patients with rosacea.

A high frequency of fatty food and tea intake appear to be risk factors for rosacea, while dairy products seem to be beneficial for patients with the condition, according to results of a multicenter, retrospective, case-control study published in the Journal of Dermatology.

The investigators sought to evaluate the potential relationship between rosacea and diet among a large Chinese population of patients with the disorder, thus helping to provide dietary guidelines for individuals with rosacea. The feeding frequency 2 years before the development of the condition was obtained via the use of standardized questionnaires. Risk factors linked to diet were calculated through the use of multiple logistic regression analysis.

The current study enrolled a total of 1347 patients with rosacea and 1290 control participants. Compared with the control group, participants in the rosacea group had significantly lower education levels (P <.01), lower monthly income (P <.01), and heavier body weight (P =.01). Moreover, significantly more smokers were in the rosacea group than in the control group (13.7% vs 10.7%, respectively; P =.02). In contrast, a lower proportion of alcohol intake was reported among participants in the rosacea group vs the control group (17.4% vs 33.4%, respectively; P <.01).

A high-frequency intake of fatty food (odds ratio [OR] 2.00; 95% CI, 1.17-3.37) and tea (OR 2.18; 95% CI, 1.05-4.55) demonstrated an increased association with rosacea. In contrast, intake of dairy products showed a significant negative association with rosacea (low-frequency dairy intake: OR 0.48 [95% CI, 0.31-0.75]; moderate-frequency dairy intake: OR 0.46 [95% CI, 0.29-0.73]; high-frequency dairy intake: OR 0.10 [95% CI, 0.03-[1] 0.37]). No significant relationship was demonstrated between rosacea and sweet food, spicy food, or coffee.

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Regarding specific subtypes of rosacea, high-frequency fatty intake was significantly associated with erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (OR 2.49; 95% CI, 1.26-4.92) and phymatous rosacea (OR 5.32; 95% CI, 1.42-19.97). Furthermore, high-frequency tea intake was significantly associated only with erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (OR 2.73; 95% CI, 1.18-6.32). In addition, high-frequency intake of daily products demonstrated a negative association with erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (OR 0.13; 95% CI, 0.03-0.67) and papulopustular rosacea (OR 0.03; 95% CI, 0.01-0.55), but not with phymatous rosacea. Spicy food, sweet food, and coffee showed no association with any rosacea subtypes.

The investigators concluded that this study is valuable for establishing dietary guidelines among patients with rosacea, with the objective to prevent and/or improve the condition. The fact that different dietary associations were observed among different rosacea subtypes suggests that rosacea is a heterogeneous disease.

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Yuan X, Huang X, Wang B, et al. Relationship between rosacea and dietary factors: a multicenter retrospective case-control survey [published online January 18, 2019]. J Dermatol. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.14771