SOURCE: Hua TC, et al. Cardiovascular comorbidities in patients with rosacea: A nationwide case-control study from Taiwan. J Am Acad Dermatol 2015;73:249-254.

Recent innovations in pharmacotherapy specifically targeting immunologic pathways have led to the ability to offer remission of disorders like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriasis. To some degree, the promise of dramatic disease-altering therapies has led to a heightened awareness of these disorders among primary care clinicians. At the same time, increased detection and referral of RA and psoriasis has been accompanied by a new focus on the association between such disorders and cardiovascular (CV) adversities. Some experts have suggested RA be included in CV risk assessment scoring systems, since the impact of RA upon CV risk is similar to that of the other primary CV risk factors, such as dyslipidemia.

The cause of rosacea remains unknown, but it is generally categorized as an inflammatory dermatosis, categorically similar to psoriasis. Hua et al investigated the relationship between rosacea and cardiovascular disease using data from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan.

Among the 33,553 patients identified with rosacea, there was an increased risk for hypertension, dyslipidemia, coronary artery disease, and peripheral arterial disease. While the mechanism for the relationship between rosacea and CV disease is ill-defined at this point, one postulate is that systemic inflammation, which has been shown to alter the ability of lipoproteins to remove cholesterol from circulation, might be at least part of the explanation.