August 21, 2018
2 min read

Study determines rosacea is drastically underdiagnosed

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An estimated 5.46% of the population worldwide is affected by rosacea, with predominance at the age of 45 to 60 years, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of published data. No significant difference between men and women and no significant association between higher prevalence and latitude were observed.

The authors of the study, a group of researchers of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, selected 32 studies from three databases, namely PubMed, Embase and Web of Sciences, examining 41 populations and a total of 26,519, 836 individuals.

Prevalence of rosacea among study populations ranged between 22.41% and 0.09%, with a pooled proportion of 5.46% through the meta-analysis. A substantial difference was observed between self-reported rosacea (9.71%) and dermatologist-diagnosed (5.53%) rosacea.

“Many factors may contribute to the difference in estimates,” Jacob P. Thyssen, MD, PhD, one of the study authors, said. “While many more people may self-diagnose rosacea than are actually suffering from the condition, correct diagnosis by a physician may depend on the physician’s experience as well as the patient’s appearance at the time of the exam.”

Estimated prevalence of rosacea for women and men resulted in a pooled proportion of 5.41% for women and 3.90% for men, but this difference was not statistically significant. Prevalence by age showed a higher incidence among individuals 45 to 60 years old. No significant association was observed between higher prevalence of rosacea and latitude.

According to a press release from the National Rosacea Society, the number of Americans with rosacea are estimated to be more than 16 million, many of whom are undiagnosed or not properly treated.

“Despite being a relatively common skin condition, only around 18% of Americans with rosacea are believed to be currently under medical treatment for their condition,” John Wolf, MD, chairman of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine, said in the press release. “Many of those with milder rosacea may not even realize they have a disease that can be treated, instead using over-the-counter skin care products or covering their redness with makeup. However, there are now more medical therapies available for rosacea’s signs and symptoms than ever before, even for mild cases.” - by Michela Cimberle

Disclosures: Gether repotted no relevant financial disclosures. Thyssen has received speaker’s honorarium from Galderma. Please see the study for the other authors’ financial disclosures.