Researchers conducting a nationwide study in Denmark found that rosacea may be associated with increased risk of certain gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, but whether there is a cause-and-effect relationship is unknown.1
As in their previous comorbidity studies, Dr. Alexander Egeberg and colleagues from the University of Copenhagen tracked more than 4.3 million individuals in the Danish National Patient Registry, including 49,475 who were diagnosed with rosacea, for five years. The investigators found that there was a higher prevalence in rosacea patients of a variety of GI disorders. Compared with individuals without rosacea during the study period, those with rosacea were 46 percent more likely to have celiac disease, 45 percent more likely to have Crohn's disease, 34 percent more likely to have irritable bowel syndrome and 19 percent more likely to have ulcerative colitis.
The researchers noted that further study is warranted to confirm potential common causal factors and examine the underlying mechanisms and clinical consequences of these associations.
A small study at Johns Hopkins University in 2015 also found that rosacea patients were more likely than people without the disorder to suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other GI disorders.2
1. Egeberg A, Weinstock LB, Thyssen EP et al. Rosacea and gastrointestinal disorders - a population-based cohort study. Br J Dermatol 2016 Aug 8. doi: 10.1111/bjd.14930. [Epub ahead of print]
2. Rainer BM, Fischer AH, Luz Felipe da Silva D, Kang S, Chien AL. Rosacea is associated with chronic systemic diseases in a skin severity-dependent manner: results of a case-control study. J Am Acad Dermatol 2015;73(4):604-8.