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Should Rosacea Patients Worry About Alzheimer's Risk?

The recent publishing of a Danish study is making headlines and social media waves: National health registry data on over 5.6 million Danish residents that were analyzed from 1997-2012 revealed there is a higher rate of dementia among those who were diagnosed with rosacea. The presence of dementia was 7% higher in those who have rosacea and the presence of Alzheimer’s specifically was 25% higher.

Those leading the study said that the findings do not necessarily show a causal link. One area where more research is needed is to better pinpoint the underlying processes that may play a role in increasing risk for both rosacea and dementia, along with other conditions. Said the study’s lead author, Dr. Alexander Egeberg of the department of dermato-allergology at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, in Copenhagen, Denmark: “Certain proteins and inflammatory processes have been found in increased levels in the skin of patients with rosacea. These have also been linked to dementia, in particular Alzheimer’s disease.”

Mark P. Seraly, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of DermatologistOnCall, agreed that the study does not show causation between rosacea and dementia or Alzheimer’s, based on the design of the study and the reported findings.

“Rosacea is a common condition,” said Dr. Seraly. “And Denmark like the U.S. has an aging population that is living longer lives, meaning there is an overall increase in the number of people being affected by dementia and specifically Alzheimer’s. More research is needed, but for rosacea patients today, the best thing they can do is to adhere to a prescribed treatment plan and enjoy their life!”

So basically, rosacea patients should relax and not worry — the study only indicates that more research in this area may be needed, and that an aging population is likely to present more cases of dementia diseases.

Read more about the study.