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Associations between Silicone Skin Cast Score, Cumulative Sun Exposure, and Other Factors in the Ausimmune Study: A Multicenter Australian Study


Lucas, RM and Ponsonby, AL and Dear, K and Taylor, BV and Dwyer, T and McMichael, AJ and Valery, P and Van der Mei, IAF and Williams, D and Pender, MP and Chapman, C and Coulthard, A and Kilpatrick, T, Associations between Silicone Skin Cast Score, Cumulative Sun Exposure, and Other Factors in the Ausimmune Study: A Multicenter Australian Study , Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, 18, (11) pp. 2887-2894. ISSN 1055-9965 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1158/1055-9965


Past sun exposure is linked to a wide range of disease outcomes but is difficult to measure accurately. Silicone skin casts measure skin damage, but some studies show that age rather than sun exposure is the most important determinant of cast score. We examined skin damage scores from silicone casts of the back of the hand in a large adult sample (n = 534) with a broad range of past cumulative UV radiation (UVR) doses. Participants were ages 18 to 61 years and resided in one of four locations down the eastern Australian seaboard, spanning 27-43S. Data were collected by questionnaire and during a nurse-led interview and examination. Silicone casts were graded from 1 to 6, where higher score represents greater damage. Higher skin damage score was associated with lighter skin pigmentation [adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 4.51; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 2.33-8.75], fairer natural hair color, particularly red hair (AOR, 11.31; 95% CI, 4.08-31.36), and blue/gray eyes (AOR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.14-2.59). Higher cumulative UVR dose, particularly before age 18 years, was associated with higher skin damage score (AOR, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.15-2.67 per 1,000 KJ/m2), as was number of sunburns, even after adjustment for cumulative UVR dose (AOR, 2.86; 95% CI, 1.50-5.43 for >10 sunburns ever compared with no sunburns ever). Silicone casts of the dorsum of the hand provide a measure of cumulative UVR dose and number of sunburns over the lifetime, which persists after adjustment for chronological age. They can be used as an objective measure of cumulative past sun exposure in epidemiologic studies, but other determinants of skin damage, such as skin pigmentation, should be concurrently evaluated.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:actinic damage; UV radiation; silicone casts; skin cancer
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Taylor, BV (Professor Bruce Taylor)
UTAS Author:Van der Mei, IAF (Professor Ingrid van der Mei)
ID Code:61929
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:40
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2010-03-09
Last Modified:2010-05-05

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