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Alcohol consumption ‘marginally’ increases risk of rosacea

A fifth of patients with rosacea have ocular symptoms and increased alcohol consumption does not play a major role in its development, concludes a large study into the characteristics of patients with the disease.

The analysis of UK data from from the General Practice Research Database looked at 60,000 patients with a first-time READ code for rosacea and an equivalent number of matched controls.

The international group of researchers found the overall incidence rate for diagnosed rosacea in the UK was 1.65 per 1,000 person-years.

Rosacea was diagnosed in some 80% of cases after the age of 30 years and 21% of patients had ocular symptoms, with hordeola, chalazia and conjunctivitis the most common.

Smokers had a 36% reduced risk of developing rosacea compared to non-smokers, although ex-smokers had a 14% increase in risk than non-smokers. Alcohol was linked to a 51% increased risk of rosacea in those consuming over 25 units per week, but the researchers said this represented only a ‘marginal increase'.

Study lead Dr Christoph Meier, head of the pharmacoepidemiology unit at the University Hospital in Basel, said: ‘These data do not suggest that alcohol consumption plays a major role in the pathophysiology of rosacea.'

British Journal of Dermatology 2012, online 5 May;jsessionid=D3BA60D8A3B4A38A5496E70A4334494D.d02t01

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