Metabolic Syndrome and Vitiligo: The Relationship


  • Salman K. Ajlan Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of Basrah, IRAQ
  • Nabaa S. Adday Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of Basrah, IRAQ
  • Khalil I. Al-Hamdi Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Basrah, IRAQ


Vitiligo, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease


Background: Vitiligo is an immunologically-mediated skin disorder presents as pointedly well demarcated pigmented macules or patches, which may appear anywhere in the body. Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a group of disorders involving central obesity, impaired glucose tolerance, hypertension and dyslipidemia. Autoimmunity and oxidative stress in Vitiligo could initiate several inflammatory and immunological cascades responsible for the systemic manifestations and skin involvement. Objective: To determine the association between MS and Vitiligo. Subjects and Methods: A cross sectional study included 73 patients with Vitiligo, 44 males and 29 females, 11 – 72 years of age and 84 non-Vitiligo subjects, 46 males and 38 females, 12-75 years age as a control group. Physiological measurements include weight, height, waist circumference (WC), and blood pressure (BP). Biochemical measurements include fasting plasma glucose (FPG), triglycerides (TG) and high density lipoprotein-cholesterol     (HDL-C).   Results: The frequency of MS among male patients with Vitiligo was 59% compared to 48% among male controls. In females, the frequency of MS among female patients was 38% in comparison to 24% among female controls. The differences were statistically significant (P < 0.02). The frequencies of all MS criteria were significantly higher among male patient with Vitiligo having MS as compared to those without MS, (P < 0.05 for BP and FBS, P < 0.01 for WC, TG and HDL-C). Female patients with MS showed significantly higher frequencies of MS components, WC, BP, FBS (P < 0.05), and TG (p < 0.01) in comparison to female patients without MS. On the other hand, there were no significant differences between female patient with and without MS regarding HDL-C          (P > 0.05). Conclusion: The frequency of MS was significantly higher among both male and female patients with Vitiligo as compared with non-Vitiligo subjects. This implies that these patients are at a high risk of type 2 diabetes and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and thereby at a considerable risk of cardiovascular events.


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