Background: Obesity is a major public health concern worldwide. Limited number of studies on the relationship between obesity and skin disease are available.
Objective: We aimed to determine the prevalence of various cutaneous disorders in obese patients and to compare them with patients with a normal body mass index (BMI).
Materials and Methods: The study included adult patients with skin diseases recruited from Dermatology outpatient clinic, Assiut University Hospital and El-eman General Hospital. Assiut, between January 2014 and December 2014. Full history taking, height and body weight measurement for Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation, blood pressure measurement and complete dermatological examination were done for each patient. Blood investigations including fasting blood sugar levels and lipid profi le were done for all patients.
Patients were categorized as normal weight, overweight, obese I, or obese II/III using BMI cut-points. Skin conditions were classifi ed according to the International Statistical Classifi cation of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10).
Results: A total of 361 adult patients (202 females/159 males), with mean age 36.83 years. According to BMI, 31.3% were normal weight, 23.3% were overweight, 21.8% in the obese I category, and 23.5% in obese categories II/III. Among skin disease categories, only pigmentation disorders showed signifi cant difference between obese and non-obese patients; being less frequently found in obese group (10.48% versus 19.47%; P=0.02). No signifi cant difference was found in the prevalence of psoriasis, acne vulgaris, contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis and alopecia areata in the two groups. However, vitiligo showed signifi cantly lower prevalence and lower odds ratio in obese (OR=0.43, P=0.04) compared with non-obese subjects. Among skin infections, only parasitic skin infestations showed increasing prevalence with increased levels of BMI (trend P = 0.02). Plantar hyperkeratosis (P=0.046), simple intertrigo (P= 0.045), varicose veins (P=0.0001), skin tags (P=0.046) and striae (P<0.0001) were signifi cantly more frequent in obese patients. Except for intertrigo, all these cutaneous manifestations showed signifi cant linear association with BMI.
Conclusion: Obesity is associated with cutaneous disorders including plantar hyperkeratosis, intertrigo, varicose veins, skin tags and striae but lower rates of pigmentation disorders, predominantly vitiligo.
Keywords: Skin disorders; Overweight; Obesity
Published on: Apr 25, 2017 Pages: 1-7
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