Alzheimer’s risk higher in people with rosacea

April 28, 2016

Pople with rosacea appear to have a slightly higher risk of developing dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease in particular, compared with people without the common chronic inflammatory skin condition.

Researchers in Denmark who came to this conclusion also highlight that the risk is highest in older patients and those whose skin complaint was diagnosed by a hospital dermatologist.

The team carried out the study because there is evidence rosacea is associated with higher levels of certain proteins that have also been implicated in various brain-wasting disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The proteins include matrix metalloproteinases and antimicrobial peptides.


The researchers found that people with rosacea had an increased risk of dementia – particularly Alzheimer’s disease.

In the Annals of Neurology, the researchers explain how they investigated the link between rosacea and dementia from data in Danish registers covering the period 1997-2012, when there were nearly 6 million Danish citizens aged 18 and over, including nearly 83,500 patients with rosacea.

The individuals were followed up to the end of 2012, or until they left Denmark, and were diagnosed with dementia, or died – whichever came first. Altogether, just over 99,000 developed dementia, including around 29,000 who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

When they analyzed the data, the researchers found that compared with patients who did not have the skin complaint, those with rosacea had a 7 percent increased risk of dementia and a 25 percent increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, with older people at the higher risk end.

For women, the raised risk of Alzheimer’s linked to rosacea was 28 percent, whereas for men with the skin disorder it was 16 percent.

Posted in Research by muzala

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