Importance: Caffeine is known to decrease vasodilation and have immunosuppressant effects, which may potentially decrease the risk of rosacea. However, the heat from coffee may be a trigger for rosacea flares. The relationship between the risk of rosacea and caffeine intake, including coffee consumption, is poorly understood.
Objective: To determine the association between the risk of incident rosacea and caffeine intake, including coffee consumption.
Design, setting, and participants: This cohort study included 82 737 women in the Nurses' Health Study II (NHS II), a prospective cohort established in 1989, with follow-up conducted biennially between 1991 and 2005. All analysis took place between June 2017 and June 2018.
Exposures: Data on coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate consumption were collected every 4 years during follow-up.
Main outcomes and measures: Information on history of clinician-diagnosed rosacea and year of diagnosis was collected in 2005.
Results: A total of 82 737 women responded to the question regarding a diagnosis of rosacea in 2005 in NHS II and were included in the final analysis (mean [SD] age at study entry, 50.5 [4.6] years). During 1 120 051 person-years of follow-up, we identified 4945 incident cases of rosacea. After adjustment for other risk factors, we found an inverse association between increased caffeine intake and risk of rosacea (hazard ratio for the highest quintile of caffeine intake vs the lowest, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.69-0.84; P < .001 for trend). A significant inverse association with risk of rosacea was also observed for caffeinated coffee consumption (HR, 0.77 for those who consumed ≥4 servings/d vs those who consumed <1/mo; 95% CI, 0.69-0.87; P < .001 for trend), but not for decaffeinated coffee (HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.56-1.14; P = .39 for trend). Further analyses found that increased caffeine intake from foods other than coffee (tea, soda, and chocolate) was not significantly associated with decreased risk of rosacea.
Conclusions and relevance: Increased caffeine intake from coffee was inversely associated with the risk of incident rosacea. Our findings do not support limiting caffeine intake as a means to prevent rosacea. Further studies are required to explain the mechanisms of action of these associations, to replicate our findings in other populations, and to explore the relationship of caffeine with different rosacea subtypes.