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BMC Dermatol. 2007 Jun 29;7:4.

Self reported skin morbidity and ethnicity: a population-based study in a Western community.

Author information

1
Institute of General Practice and Community Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway. florence.dalgard@medisin.uio.no

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recent studies have shown ethnic differences concerning cardio-vascular disease, diabetes and mental health. Little is known about ethnic differences in skin morbidity. The purpose of this study was to describe possible ethnic differences in self-reported skin morbidity in a Western urban community.

METHODS:

The design was cross sectional. 40,888 adults in Oslo, Norway, received a postal questionnaire providing information on socio-demographic factors and self-reported health, including items on skin complaints.

RESULTS:

18,770 individuals answered the questionnaire. In the sample 84% were from Norway. The largest immigrant group was from Western countries (5%) and the Indian Subcontinent (3%). Itch was the most prevalent reported skin symptom (7%), and was significantly more reported by men from East Asia (18%) and Middle East/North Africa (13%). The same observations were seen for reported dry and sore skin. Hair loss was a dominating complaint for men from the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East/North Africa (23% and 25%) and for women from the same ethnic groups. Women from Sub-Saharan Africa reported significantly more pimples than in the other groups (17%).

CONCLUSION:

The study showed that there were significant differences in self-reported skin complaints among ethnic groups. Issues concerning the cultural value of some skin symptoms should be examined further.

PMID:
17603893
PMCID:
PMC1925115
DOI:
10.1186/1471-5945-7-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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