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Severe Acne and Metabolic Syndrome: A Possible Correlation.

Dermatology. 2019 Sep 04;:1-7

Authors: Biagi LG, Sañudo A, Bagatin E

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Chronic inflammatory skin diseases have been shown to increase or predispose metabolic or vascular damage. However, little is known about systemic effects of the pro-inflammatory state of severe acne. We analyzed data of 85 patients at Lipid Outpatient Clinics (UNIFESP/EPM) who were treated for metabolic syndrome (MS). Medical history and physical examinations were performed in order to search characteristics of acne scars.
METHODS: Patients' electronic records were accessed for one year. The ones presenting MS were evaluated by clinical examination in order to detect presence of acne scars. Clinical analysis comprised anamnesis, measurement of abdominal circumference, blood pressure, and body mass index (BMI). Laboratory tests included fasting glucose, CBC, serum levels of insulin, triglycerides, LDL, HDL, ALT, AST, urea, and creatinine. Statistical analysis consisted of prevalence (95% CI) of acne history/scars among patients treated at the Lipid Outpatient Clinics. The χ2 test, Pearson's test, or Fisher's exact test was used to evaluate the association of social and demographic data, clinical and lab exams with the presence of MS or acne scars. Statistical 5% significance level was adopted.
RESULTS: Fifty-two patients confirmed having a medical history of acne, and 33 denied. Acne scars were found in 61.17%. There was no statistical difference between the groups according to medium value of BMI, hypertension, abdominal circumference, and serum levels of hemoglobin, leucocytes, platelets, triglycerides, LDL, HDL, AST, ALT, glycemia, creatinine, and urea. Twenty-seven out of the 52 patients with acne history presented acne scars, which symbolizes a 31.76% prevalence. This equals a 51.92% prevalence among all patients with acne history. There was no statistical difference among groups according to mean (±SD) in data such as family history, weight, BMI, hypertension, abdominal circumference, serum levels of hemoglobin, leucocytes, platelets, LDL, HDL, AST, ALT, glycemia, creatinine, and urea. A statistical difference in the triglyceride level was present, being elevated in patients with acne scars.
DISCUSSION: Apart from the limitation (small sample size), a correlation between acne and MS could be suggested. The high prevalence of acne history/scars in patients treated for MS may indicate a possible correlation with any type of acne. This hypothesis may raise discussion about an association like the already proven risk of metabolic alterations in other inflammatory chronic dermatoses, such as psoriasis or rosacea, regardless of acne severity. We highlight the importance of early treatment and follow-up for patients with MS that could be observed in this study, as clinical and laboratory criteria were all within normal levels among patients from that specific outpatient clinic. Results can draw attention to evaluation of clinical and laboratory investigation related to risk of MS. It corroborates to early diagnosis and prevention of complications of MS. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings.

PMID: 31484190 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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