A possible association between a dysfunctional skin barrier (filaggrin null-mutation status) and diabetes: a cross-sectional study

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Background Filaggrin proteins are located in the skin and prevent epidermal water loss and impede the entry of micro-organisms, allergens and chemicals. Filaggrin null mutations are strongly associated with ichthyosis vulgaris and atopic dermatitis.

Objective The authors aimed to investigate the association between filaggrin null mutations, atopic dermatitis and diabetes.

Design A random sample of 3335 adults from the general population in Denmark was filaggrin-genotyped for R501X and 2282del4 null-mutations and questioned about atopic dermatitis and diabetes. Furthermore, two independent study populations of patients with type 1 (n=104) or 2 (n=774) diabetes were genotyped.

Results In a crude data analysis, a positive association was detected between the filaggrin null genotype and, respectively, subjects from the general population who reported diabetes (p=0.04) and patients with established type 2 diabetes (p=0.073). Adjustment for age and gender resulted in significant associations for patients with type 2 diabetes (p=0.048) and subjects with self-reported diabetes (p=0.032).

Conclusions Adult Danes with a filaggrin null genotype had a significantly increased prevalence of self-reported diabetes. This finding was replicated when an independent sample of Danish patients with established type 2 diabetes was compared with control subjects from the general population.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)e000062
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

ID: 35312621