Overweight and obesity in young adults were inversely associated with acne, leading researchers to suggest that metabolically active adipose tissue plays a protective role in acne.
The population-based, cross-sectional study was conducted in Israel using medical data of 600,404 youths who were in compulsory military service between Jan. 1, 2002, and April 2, 2015.
Previous researchers have suggested that factors such as Western diet and obesity may influence acne prevalence. Some studies have shown overweight and obesity lead to an increased risk of childhood and adult acne, while others have shown a protective effect, Igor Snast, MD, of Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Hospital, Petah Tikva, Israel, and colleagues wrote.
Based on WHO definitions for BMI values, 41,659 male participants (13.9%) and 37,881 female participants (12.6%) were overweight, and 15,210 male participants (5.1%) and 12,997 female participants (4.3%) were obese or severely obese.
A graded decrease was found in the proportion of male participants with acne from the underweight group (19.9%) to the severely obese group (13.9%). In female participants, the acne rates were 16.9% in the underweight group and 11.3% in the severely obese group.
The researchers found a gradual decrease in the incidence of acne from the high-normal BMI range to the severely obese range.
The adjusted odds of acne decreased in males and females, by 3.2% and 2.6% respectively, for each 1-unit increase in BMI, according to researchers.
The cross-sectional study design did not allow the researchers to infer a causal relationship between BMI and acne, but they speculated that adiposity may have a protective effect. – by Abigail Sutton
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.