(HealthDay) -- The incidence of rosacea in the United Kingdom is 1.65 per 1,000 person-years, with alcohol consumption linked to a modest increase in risk and current smoking linked to an decreased risk, according to a study published online May 5 in the British Journal of Dermatology.
To quantify the incidence rates and describe the demographic characteristics of rosacea, Julia Spoendlin, from the University of Basel in Switzerland, and colleagues used the U.K.-based General Practice Research Database to identify 60,042 patients with a new diagnosis of rosacea between 1995 and 2009 and matched them to 60,042 rosacea-free control patients.
The researchers found that, in the United Kingdom, the overall incidence rate for rosacea was 1.65 per 1,000 person-years. In 80 percent of cases, diagnosis occurred after the age of 30 years. In 20.8 percent of cases, ocular symptoms were noted at the index date. Current smokers had a significantly reduced relative risk of developing rosacea (odds ratio, 0.64), while there was a marginally increased risk seen for alcohol consumption.
"This large observational study describes the epidemiology of rosacea in a large sample of the U.K. population and quantifies the presence of ocular involvement in this skin disease," the authors write. "Our findings suggest that smoking may substantially reduce the risk of developing rosacea, whereas alcohol consumption is associated with only a small increase in risk."
One author disclosed financial ties to Galderma, which funded the study.
Explore further: The effects of smoking and alcohol use on risk of upper aero-digestive cancers
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)