Rosacea and autoimmune diseases come together


Some recent research has highlighted the statistical relationship between rosacea sufferers and some auto immune diseases for women – type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis and for men – rheumatoid arthritis.

There are plenty of whispers and associations of varying degrees between rosacea and any number of other conditions. This paper details research that used a large sample of rosacea and non-rosacea sufferers to identify patterns of co-incidence of diseases.

The paper tells us –

There is currently little definitive insight into comorbidities of rosacea although rosacea has been associated with migraine, depression, hypertension, dyslipidemia, coronary artery disease, and other chronic systemic illnesses.

Some recent genetic research has opened the door for some more focussed investigation.

a very recent genomewide association study (GWAS) identified genetic risk loci for rosacea that were also associated with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and celiac disease.

Because several studies have shown clustering of selected autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, and T1DM, and a very recent GWAS identified 90 shared genetic regions associated with 1 or more of these 4 conditions, it is tempting to speculate that rosacea could also be associated with these autoimmune diseases. Therefore, we evaluated the relationship between rosacea and rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, and T1DM, respectively, in nationwide registers from Denmark.

Related Genetic Research

As Rosacea News noted last year – From Genetic link to Rosacea Cause Gets Closer

Rosacea Related to Diabetes and Celiac Disease ?

One of the most interesting findings of this study is the potential connection between rosacea and other human diseases such as diabetes and celiac disease.

As previously mentioned, HLA-DRB1*03:01 is associated with diabetic retinopathy in a Croatian population of type I diabetics (Kastelan et al., 2013).

The connection between rosacea and diabetes merits further study, since rosacea has been reported to associate negatively with diabetics on insulin or oral anti-diabetic drugs in a retrospective study (Spoendlin et al., 2013). This reduction in rosacea could be due to treatment for diabetes with insulin or anti-diabetic drugs.

There are many possible relationships between one disease and another. Watch this space to see what further statistical insights might emerge.

Article Abstract

Clustering of autoimmune diseases in patients with rosacea.

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016 Jan 30, Egeberg A, Hansen PR, Gislason GH, Thyssen JP.

BACKGROUND: Rosacea is a common inflammatory skin condition that shares genetic risk loci with autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and celiac disease. A recent genomewide association study identified 90 genetic regions associated with T1DM, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, and/or rheumatoid arthritis, respectively. However, a possible association with rosacea was not investigated.

OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the association between rosacea and T1DM, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis, respectively.

METHODS: We performed a population-based case-control study. A total of 6759 patients with rosacea were identified and matched with 33,795 control subjects on age, sex, and calendar time. We used conditional logistic regression to calculate crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS: After adjustment for smoking and socioeconomic status, patients with rosacea had significantly increased ORs for T1DM (OR 2.59, 95% CI 1.41-4.73), celiac disease (OR 2.03, 95% CI 1.35-3.07), multiple sclerosis (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.20-2.28), and rheumatoid arthritis (OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.82-2.52). The association was mainly observed in women.

LIMITATIONS: We were unable to distinguish between the different subtypes and severities of rosacea.

CONCLUSIONS: Rosacea is associated with T1DM, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis, respectively, in women, whereas the association in men only reached statistical significance for rheumatoid arthritis.

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About the Author

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

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6 Reader Comments

  1. aileen glover says:

    Tried soolantra (dr impressed that I knew of it) and one side of face came out in red blotches. co-incidence or otherwise and why one side only? Almost thought I must have been bitten by a spider.$60-00 for 10 mg/g tube.

  2. email reply from Lucy.

    “Your updates are very much appreciated! This one was extremely scary – I’m waiting for a contradicting piece of research now to put my mind at ease!”

  3. Joan Nolan says:

    I have had Celiac Disease for about ten years and Rosacea for a little less. I now seem to have Ocular Rosacea although it has only been diagnosed by my family doctor. It fits all the symptoms and my Rosacea has been much worse lately, too. The Ocular symptoms prevent me from using the computer very long or reading very long before the terrible burning starts and I’m miserable with it all evening unless I am off doing something else. I am retired now and writing a book so this has been quite a problem.

    My doctor prescribed Doxyclycline, 40 mg. once a day. Does that sound like a good dose, and how long can I expect to wait for relief from the ocular rosacea? I just retired a few years ago and it has certainly made life miserable at times.

    Thank you.

    • Doxy is no magic bullet.I took it for years and used restasis as well. Improved enough to have cataracts done. I now use a product called “Healthy eyes” from Australian Natural Care, Sydney Australia which contains Lutein, Zeaxanthin , Zinc and selenium. I feel they help even tho may be a placebo. I am not intending to find out! I will stay on them. Also Alpha Lipoic acid for dry mouth. good luck.

  4. Brendan Doe says:

    Interesting potential genetic association. I have Rosacea and my daughter celiacs and rheumatoid arthritis.

  5. Susan Bromen says:

    Dry eyes, dry mouth associated with autoimmune dx Sjögrens. FYI

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