University of Oulu

Sinikumpu S, -P, Vähänikkilä H, Jokelainen J, Tasanen K, Huilaja L: Ocular Symptoms and Rosacea: A Population-Based Study. Dermatology 2022;238:846-850. doi: 10.1159/000522494

Ocular symptoms and rosacea : a population-based study

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Author: Sinikumpu, Suvi-Päivikki1; Vähänikkilä, Hannu2; Jokelainen, Jari2;
Organizations: 1Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Oulu, Oulu, Finland and Medical Research Center, PEDEGO Research Group, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Infrastructure for Population Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: , 2022
Publish Date: 2023-04-17


Background: The symptoms of ocular rosacea are often non-specific and there is no dependable diagnostic test for the disease, which may cause difficulties in diagnostics. The aim of this study was to examine the association between clinical findings of rosacea and self-reported ocular symptoms in a general population of middle-aged subjects.

Methods: A clinical whole-body examination by a dermatologist was performed for 1,932 subjects belonging to the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 Study. The presence of ocular symptoms was self-reported. The difference between rosacea and ocular symptoms was tested. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify associations between rosacea and ocular symptoms.

Results: The prevalence of rosacea was 15.1% (n = 292); in the subjects with rosacea, erythematoteleangiectatic rosacea was found in 83.2% (n = 242), papulopustular in 15.4% (n = 45), ocular in 0.03% (n = 1), and phymatic in 0.1% (n = 3). Ocular symptoms in rosacea subjects were common, with dryness (32.3%), tearing (29.4%), foreign-body sensation (21.8%), and photophobia (20.5%) being the most common ones. Foreign-body sensation was reported significantly more often in those with rosacea compared to those without (p < 0.04). In logistic regression analyses, after adjusting, the subjects with rosacea had a 1.5-fold increased risk for decreased visual acuity in the dark (OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.01–2.14) compared to those without rosacea.

Conclusions: Eye symptoms are common in subjects with rosacea. All patients with rosacea should be asked about ocular symptoms and both skin and eyelids should be examined even if the cutaneous findings are mild.

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Volume: 238
Issue: 5
Pages: 846 - 850
DOI: 10.1159/000522494
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Copyright information: © 2022 S. Karger AG, Basel. This is the accepted manuscript version of an article published by Karger Publishers in Dermatology 2022;238:846-850 doi: 10.1159/000522494 and available on