Endocrine Abstracts (2012) 29 P1186

Insulin resistance and acne: a new risk factor for men?

M. Del Prete, A. Faggiano, M. Mauriello, C. Di Somma, G. Monfrecola, G. Fabbrocini & A. Colao


Federico II University, Naples, Italy.


Introduction: Acne is a common skin disease that occasionally can be influenced by endocrine abnormalities. In females, a clear relationship has been highlight between acne onset and peripheral insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia, whereas few data are available in male. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between acne and insulin resistance as well as other metabolic impairment in male subjects with acne.

Methods/design: Twenty-two subjects with inflammatory acne, resistant to common therapy guidelines of acne treatment, have been compared to 22 healthy subjects matched for age and gender. Acne was gradued using the global acne grading system score (GAGS). Clinical and biochemical parameters of glucose and lipid metabolism and serum levels of androgens were evaluated. Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin-resistance (HOMA-IR) was calculated.

Results: Males with acne had higher BMI (P<0.01), WHR (P<0.05), SBP (P<0.01), DBP (P<0.01), basal (P<0.05) and 120 min. OGTT serum insulin concentrations (P<0.01), basal glucose concentrations (P<0.05), HOMA-IR (P<0.01) and lower HDL cholesterol than controls (P<0.01). Among the subgroup of subjects with BMI <25, HDL cholesterol (P<0.05) and 120 min. OGTT serum insulin concentrations (P<0.05) resulted to be independent predictors of acne at the multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: These findings highlight that male subjects with acne are affected with a metabolic imbalance. Insulin resistance and low HDL-cholesterol seem to play the main role for the development of acne in males and could represent effective targets for therapy.

Declaration of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research project.

Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.

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