Self-reported skin morbidity in Oslo. Associations with sociodemographic factors among adults in a cross-sectional study

Br J Dermatol. 2004 Aug;151(2):452-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2004.06058.x.


Background: Previous studies on prevalence of skin diseases in the population have been based on clinical examination of a sample of the population. A questionnaire on self-reported skin complaints has recently been developed and validated for use in population surveys, but has not been used until now.

Objectives: To quantify the skin morbidity in an adult urban population assessed by a newly developed self-measurement instrument, and to explore the associations between skin morbidity and sociodemographic factors in the community.

Methods: The study was a population-based cross-sectional study carried out in the city of Oslo. Adult participants (n = 18 770) aged 30-76 years answered a questionnaire giving information on self-reported skin complaints, and which included demographic, psychosocial and general health variables.

Results: Itch was the dominating skin complaint in all age groups. Adjusted odds ratios for itch, self-reported hand eczema and self-reported acne showed significant associations with female gender and reporting households of middle income. There was no association with employment categories.

Conclusions: This study shows that skin complaints referring to the most common chronic skin diseases varied with age, gender and marital status, and worsened with middle-income household. It provides evidence that household income is associated with skin morbidity, bringing dermatological aspects to studies on health inequalities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Skin Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Health