Section : Notes de congrès/conférences

Vitiligo and Atherosclerosis

  • Vitiligo is suggested in a study by the same authors (HERE) to be associated with metabolic syndrome.
  • High blood sugar and hypertension are risk factors and this study suggests that atherosclerosis could also be associated with vitiligo.
  • Moreover, insulin resistance and increased homocysteine levels have already been described.
  • Atherogenesis in its initial stages involves oxidative stress. Polymorphic genes such as endothelia-1 and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), which are involved in the formation of vessel plaques are also found in vitiligo lesions.
  • Like in the other studies by these authors (HERE) at the IPCC meeting in Singapore, 35 vitiligo patients matched with 30 healthy controls were enrolled (no history of Cardiovascular disease).
  • Results show a significant level differences of:
    • increased levels of hypersensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP): 3,9mg/l vs 2,3 in controls)
    • increased levels of oxidized low density lipoprotein (oxLDL; 313mg/l vs 172 in controls)
    • Same results as the other study (LINK) for HDL, Triglycerides and total cholesterol levels)
  • To conclude, Atherogenesis has been thoroughly studied and its physiopathological molecular mechanisms are well documented in Pathology Textbooks (e.g. Robbins Pathological Basis of Disease). It would be therefore interesting to see its correlation with autoimmune mediators (antinuclear antibodies (ANA) cytokines…) increasingly established in the pathogenesis of vitiligo.
  • Of course further studies in different centers (and in different countries) could elucidate this association.


Dr Christophe Hsu – dermatologue. Genève, Suisse.

Source of information: Are Vitiligo patients at a higher risk of developing atherosclerosis ? – A pilot study. P130 – Singh A. et al. IPCC2014 Singapore