Hyperlipidemia and Skin Disease

Perhaps you know that hyperlipidemia, or increased cholesterol and/or triglycerides, is common in the general population. What you may not know is that certain skin diseases are specifically associated with cholesterol and/or triglyceride abnormalities. A report by Dr. Kroumpouzos and colleagues that was published in the journal Archives of Dermatology indicates that patients with a skin disease called granuloma annulare (photo) have a more than 4-fold increased risk of elevated serum lipids. The report included 140 patients with granuloma annulare and 420 controls, and showed that the prevalence of lipid abnormalities was 79.3% in patients with granuloma annulare whereas only 39.1% in otherwise healthy persons.

Granuloma Annulare

Dr. Kroumpouzos further evaluated lipid abnormalities relevant to skin disease in a recent article that he authored for the journal SkinMedica. The article indicates a high incidence of lipid abnormalities in psoriasis, a common skin disease associated with diseases (diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease) that are components of the “metabolic syndrome”. Rheumatic skin diseases, such as systemic lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, are also associated with lipid abnormalities. Early recognition of the above skin diseases helps treat the lipid abnormalities promptly, and thus, minimize consequences of hyperlipidemia.

The group of Dr. Kroumpouzos is continuing their research in order to address these issues and, in cooperation with primary care providers, provide optimal care to patients with skin conditions that are potentially associated with lipid abnormalities.

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