Rosacea, a common facial skin disorder, was associated with a significantly increased risk for developing glioma, the most common type of primary malignant tumors in the central nervous system, a study published in JAMA Dermatology has shown.1

Because rosacea has a poorly understood pathogenesis in which increased matrix metalloproteinase activity may play a key role, and gliomas show upregulation of certain matrix metalloproteinase, researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark sought to investigate the association between rosacea and the risk for glioma.

For the nationwide Danish cohort study, researchers analyzed data from 5 484 910 individuals, of which 68 372 had rosacea. The rest constituted the reference population.

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Results showed that 20 934 individuals in the reference population and 184 of the patients with rosacea developed glioma, corresponding to a glioma incidence rate of 3.34 (95% CI, 3.30 – 3.39) and 4.99 (95% CI, 4.32 – 5.76), respectively. The adjusted incidence rate ratio of glioma in patients with rosacea was 1.36 (95% CI, 1.18 – 1.58).

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When investigators limited their analysis to the 5964 patients with a primary diagnosis of rosacea by a hospital dermatologist, the adjusted incidence rate ratio was 1.82 (95% CI, 1.16 – 2.86).

The findings suggest that an increased focus on neurologic symptoms in patients with rosacea may be warranted.


  1. Egeberg A, Hansen PR, Gislason GH, Thyssen JP. Association of rosacea with risk for glioma in a Danish nationwide cohort study [published online ahead of print January 27, 2016]. JAMA Dermatol. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.5549.