The dermatological condition of rosacea appears to share similar risk factors as other autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Rosacea is a common inflammatory skin condition that shares the same genetic risk location as autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and celiac disease.
Researchers have noted a clustering of autoimmune diseases in patients with rosacea. In fact, a recent genomewide association study found 90 genetic areas associated with T1DM, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, and/or rheumatoid arthritis, but did not address a possible association with rosacea.
A team of researchers recently set out to assess any connections between rosacea and T1DM, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis, respectively. The research team included Alexander Egeberg, MD, Peter Riis Hansen, MD, PhD, DMSci, Gunnar Hilmar Gislason, MD, PhD, Jacob Pontoppidan Thyssen, MD, PhD, DMSci, National Allergy Research Center, Department of Dermato-Allergology, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Hellerup, Denmark, Department of Cardiology, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Hellerup, Denmark.
For their study, the team conducted a population-based case-control study in which a total of 6,759 patients with rosacea were matched with 33,795 control subjects on age, sex, and calendar time.
They used conditional logistic regression to calculate crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
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 connection was seen most commonly in women, while for men, only the rheumatoid arthritis connection was statistically significant.
As a disclaimer, the researchers point out that they were unable to distinguish between the various sub-types and severities of rosacea.