Importance: Rosacea, a common facial skin disorder, has a poorly understood pathogenesis in which increased matrix metalloproteinase activity might play an important role. Glioma accounts for 80% of all primary malignant tumors in the central nervous system, and these tumors also show upregulation of certain matrix metalloproteinases.
Objective: To investigate the association between rosacea and the risk for glioma.
Design, Setting, and Participants: Nationwide cohort study of the Danish population from individual-level linkage of administrative registers. All Danish citizens 18 years or older from January 1, 1997, to December 31, 2011, were eligible for inclusion. A total of 5 484 910 individuals were eligible for analysis; of these, 68 372 had rosacea and 5 416 538 constituted the reference population. Data were analyzed from July 14 to August 10, 2015.
Main Outcomes and Measures: The outcome of interest was a diagnosis of glioma. Incidence rates per 10 000 person-years were calculated, and incidence rate ratios adjusted for age, sex, and socioeconomic status were estimated by Poisson regression distribution models.
Results: Of the 5 484 910 individuals in the study population, 21 118 individuals developed glioma during the study period, including 20 934 of the 5 416 538 individuals in the reference population (50.4% women; mean [SD] age, 40.8 [19.7] years) and 184 of the 68 372 patients with rosacea (67.3% women; mean [SD] age, 42.2 [16.5] years).The incidence rate (95% CI) of glioma was 3.34 (3.30-3.39) in the reference population and 4.99 (4.32-5.76) in patients with rosacea. The adjusted incidence rate ratio (95% CI) of glioma in patients with rosacea was 1.36 (1.18-1.58) in our primary analysis. When analyses were limited to patients with a primary diagnosis of rosacea by a hospital dermatologist (n = 5964), the adjusted incidence rate ratio was 1.82 (1.16-2.86).
Conclusions and Relevance: Rosacea was associated with a significantly increased risk for glioma in a nationwide cohort. This association may be mediated, in part, by mechanisms dependent on matrix metalloproteinases. Increased focus on neurologic symptoms in patients with rosacea may be warranted.