Higher risk of kidney disease for rosacea sufferers


Up to now there has been no direct research into any possible link between rosacea and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Researchers have known that patients with inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis have a high risk of CKD, but whether this increased risk also apply to rosacea sufferers had until not been studied.

This paper researched rosacea sufferers and sufferers of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and has resulted in 3 strong conclusions that rosacea sufferers should take notice of;

  • Rosacea is an independent risk factor for CKD.
  • High rosacea severity and old age further increased CKD risk in patients with rosacea.
  • Careful monitoring for CKD development should be included as part of integrated care for patients with rosacea.

So this statistical research suggests that if you have rosacea, you do indeed have a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease compared to those who don’t have rosacea. If your rosaca is more severe, or you are older in years then your risk is further increased.

How much more risk?

This is a difficult question to answer clearly and succintly. Take the link below to read the whole paper. In order to get a taste of what the reserchers have found, though, here is one telling quote.

The overall CKD incidence rate was higher in patients with rosacea than in the controls (16.02 vs. 10.63 per 1000 person-years, respectively).

This shows that for every 1000 years of elapsed time (living) there will be 10.6 people who have CKD that don’t have rosacea, but there will be 16 people that do. This increase of 10 to 16 is where you will see a conclusion stated such as “you have a 50% increased risk of CKD with rosacea“.

50% increased risk of kidney disease if you have rosacea!

It sounds significant, and statistically speaking it is a significant difference, but remember that the baseline risk of CKD in the general population is 10 cases for 1000 years of ageing anyways. Thus this research is showing that you have an overall increased risk of developing kidney disease, but that risk is not nothing to start with.

What is happening here?

The researchers don’t really know yet, but they suggest that like “psoriasis, the underlying mechanism of rosacea is thought to be associated with inflammatory cascades”.

Also “Accumulating evidence indicates that chronic low-grade inflammation resulting in endothelial injury, impaired vasodilation, and glomerulosclerosis plays a major role in CKD development and that various inflammatory cytokines are related to CKD pathogenesis and progression”

Some more discussion.

Rosacea is a common chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by dysfunction in the innate and/or adaptive immune response.

Pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1 β, IL-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor-α are involved in rosacea pathogenesis, and inflammasome-related genes (CASP-1 and NALP-3) are overexpressed in skin samples from rosacea patients.

These inflammatory mediators may have an important role in CKD development. Consistent with these past studies, our data indicate that patients with moderate-to-severe rosacea, who might have a greater inflammation burden, had a higher risk of developing CKD than did patients with mild rosacea. The result lends support to the hypothesis that inflammatory mediators are involved in CKD pathogenesis and progression in patients with rosacea.

See the full paper for more discussion.

More bad news?

This research follows some more recently published research showing an increase prevalence of cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s and coronary artery disease in rosacea sufferers. Until the link between all these conditions (if indeed there is one) is established it is best to keep an eye out with your doctor for symptoms suggesting you may be suffering of these additional diseases.

Article Abstract

Increased risk of chronic kidney disease in patients with rosacea: A nationwide population-based matched cohort study

Hsien-Yi Chiu, Wen-Yen Huang, Chung-Han Ho, Jhi-Joung Wang, Sung-Jan Lin, Ya-Wen Hsu, Ping-Jen Chen

PloS One, Published: October 2, 2017

BackgroundRosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder. Inflammation and oxidative stress are involved in the etiopathogenesis of rosacea and chronic kidney disease (CKD). This study aimed to investigate the association between rosacea and CKD.
MethodsThis population-based cohort study identified 277 patients with rosacea in the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database during 2001–2005. These patients were matched for age, sex, and comorbidities with 2216 patients without rosacea. All subjects were individually followed-up for 8–12 years to identify those who subsequently developed CKD.
ResultsThe incidence rates of CKD per 1000 person-years were 16.02 in patients with rosacea and 10.63 in the non-rosacea reference population. After adjusting for other covariates and considering the competing risk of mortality, patients with rosacea remained at increased risk of CKD (adjusted sub-distribution hazard ratio (aSD-HR) 2.00; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05–3.82). The aSD-HRs (95% CI) for CKD were 1.82 (0.83–4.00) and 2.53 (1.11–5.75) for patients with mild and moderate-to-severe rosacea, respectively.
Conclusions: Rosacea is an independent risk factor for CKD. High rosacea severity and old age further increased CKD risk in patients with rosacea. Careful monitoring for CKD development should be included as part of integrated care for patients with rosacea.

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About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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2 Reader Comments

  1. Some comments via facebook.

    “Do kidney stones also count? Could I develop CKD if I have a 20+ year history of kidney stones?”

    “Shouldn’t be a post that makes everyone worry! Now that you know you can be proactive. There are easy ways to strengthen and cleanse your kidneys.”

    “Well that adds a new twist in my case. have had vasculitis since the age of 2 and in 2014 it developed in my kidneys (MPA). I also have serve Rosacea which affects my eyes. Interestingly..at least to me..is the rosacea became worse around 2012. Who know, it may have tipped the balance….”

    “Great news, so we are at risk for kidney and I read in that article dementia. In 10 years, they will change that too. They just have no clue.”

    “I have rosacea and have just been told of suspected CKD!”

    “Rosacea: Another disease that affects women disproportionately that is under studied and trivialized.”

  2. I really surprised that Rosacea can be linked with such endangering diseases. Well, we need to wait for proven evidence made for this connection. Thanks for sharing the latest studies made for Rosacea.

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