Section : Notes de congrès/conférences

Vitiligo and Metabolic syndrome

  • Vitiligo affects 1% of the world population and is a psychologically devastating disease especially when visible areas are affected, such as the face.
  • Psoriasis is associated with the so-called named “metabolic syndrome” (MS): abdominal (central) obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting plasma glucose, high serum triglycerides, and low high-density cholesterol (HDL) levels)
  • Metabolic syndrome is the result of insulin resistance
  • This prospective case-control study from India included 35 patients with vitiligo aged 20 to 50 with at least 5% of body surface involvement were included. 30 healthy aged matched controls were included.
  • Measurements of the following were done:  fasting glucose, total cholesterol. triglycerides, HDL,  and insulin levels.
  • results show in a statistically significant way that:
    • waist circumference (96cm vs 87cm) and Body Mass Index (25 vs 22) were significantly higher than controls
    • hypertension was present in 40% of patients with vitiligo (vs 3.3% of controls)
    • Serum triglycerides (142mg/dl vs  111) and insulin levels (7.8mg/dl vs 5.6)  were raised.
    • HDL was less than 50mg/dl in males and less than 40 in females
  • There were no differences in plasma glucose and total cholesterol levels
  • Although more studies are needed, this study suggests that monitoring lipid profiles, sugar levels and other signs of metabolic syndrome is warranted in patients with vitiligo.

To read more about skin changes in metabolic syndrome:


Dr Christophe Hsu – dermatologue. Genève, Suisse.

Source of information: Vitiligo and metabolic syndrome: a case control study. P129 – Singh A. et al. IPCC2014 – Singapore