Dermatology in public health - a model for surveillance of common skin diseases

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Aims: The aim was to establish a baseline prevalence of skin conditions of public health importance in the general population and taking the validity of the questions into account. Our model is intended for future surveillance of skin conditions. Methods: The suggested questions have for the first time been used in Swedish population surveys. A random sample was taken from the general population aged 16 to 84 years of the participating areas. Results: During the past 12 months, hand eczema was reported by 9.4%, childhood eczema by 15.7% and nickel allergy by 13.7% of the population. Hand and childhood eczema questions have previously been validated. Taking the validity into account, the actual population prevalence of hand eczema (11.7%) is underestimated, and the prevalence of atopic childhood eczema (10.0%) is overestimated based on the results of the questionnaire. In addition to presenting prevalence, population survey results can be used for risk analyses. A 10-fold risk of hand eczema in individuals with childhood eczema and self-reported nickel sensitivity is shown in our study. Conclusions: Questionnaires can be used for epidemiologic surveillance so long as the questions are validated and that the validity is taken into account when estimating the occurrence of the conditions. Public health surveys such as this one lay the basis for future epidemiological surveillance of skin conditions that can be subject to interventions. We propose that these, or similar, questions should be used regularly in population surveys and supplemented by questions on skin exposure.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Folkhälsovetenskap, global hälsa, socialmedicin och epidemiologi


Sidor (från-till)368-374
TidskriftScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Utgåva nummer4
StatusPublished - 2010
Peer review utfördJa