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Airborne Particle Exposure and Extrinsic Skin Aging


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For decades, extrinsic skin aging has been known to result from chronic exposure to solar radiation and, more recently, to tobacco smoke. In this study, we have assessed the influence of air pollution on skin aging in 400 Caucasian women aged 70-80 years. Skin aging was clinically assessed by means of SCINEXA (score of intrinsic and extrinsic skin aging), a validated skin aging score. Traffic-related exposure at the place of residence was determined by traffic particle emissions and by estimation of soot in fine dust. Exposure to background particle concentration was determined by measurements of ambient particles at fixed monitoring sites. The impact of air pollution on skin aging was analyzed by linear and logistic regression and adjusted for potential confounding variables. Air pollution exposure was significantly correlated to extrinsic skin aging signs, in particular to pigment spots and less pronounced to wrinkles. An increase in soot (per 0.5 × 10(-5) per m) and particles from traffic (per 475  kg per year and square km) was associated with 20% more pigment spots on forehead and cheeks. Background particle pollution, which was measured in low residential areas of the cities without busy traffic and therefore is not directly attributable to traffic but rather to other sources of particles, was also positively correlated to pigment spots on face. These results indicate that particle pollution might influence skin aging as well.
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Airborne Particle Exposure and Extrinsic Skin Aging
Andrea Vierko
, Tamara Schikowski
, Ulrich Ranft
, Dorothea Sugiri
, Mary Matsui
, Ursula Kra
and Jean Krutmann
For decades, extrinsic skin aging has been known to result from chronic exposure to solar radiation and, more
recently, to tobacco smoke. In this study, we have assessed the influence of air pollution on skin aging in 400
Caucasian women aged 70–80 years. Skin aging was clinically assessed by means of SCINEXA (score of intrinsic and
extrinsic skin aging), a validated skin aging score. Traffic-related exposure at the place of residence was
determined by traffic particle emissions and by estimation of soot in fine dust. Exposure to background particle
concentration was determined by measurements of ambient particles at fixed monitoring sites. The impact of air
pollution on skin aging was analyzed by linear and logistic regression and adjusted for potential confounding
variables. Air pollution exposure was significantly correlated to extrinsic skin aging signs, in particular to pigment
spots and less pronounced to wrinkles. An increase in soot (per 0.510
per m) and particles from traffic (per
475 kg per year and square km) was associated with 20% more pigment spots on forehead and cheeks.
Background particle pollution, which was measured in low residential areas of the cities without busy traffic and
therefore is not directly attributable to traffic but rather to other sources of particles, was also positively correlated
to pigment spots on face. These results indicate that particle pollution might influence skin aging as well.
JID JOURNAL CLUB ARTICLE: For questions, answers, and open discussion about this article, please go to
Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2010) 130, 2719–2726; doi:10.1038/jid.2010.204; published online 22 July 2010
According to the United Nations Department of Economic and
Social Affairs Population Division, the proportion of the world’s
human inhabitants who can be classified as aged is increasing
dramatically (Department of Economic and Social Affairs (ESA),
2002). Aging is accompanied by progressive deterioration of
structure and function of all tissues, including visible signs of
both intrinsic and extrinsic skin aging. In this regard, skin aging
is of particular importance, because it has medical, psycho-
logical and social consequences. Among all organs skin is
the most visible, and skin aging directly impacts individual
self-esteem (Gupta and Gilchrest, 2005). This is illustrated best
by the fact that the current market for cosmetic and medical
products devoted to the prevention and treatment of skin aging
has 15 billion US$ worth of sales worldwide (Yarosh, 2008).
Aging results from the combined action of intrinsic and
extrinsic factors. From a preventive point of view, the latter are
of particular interest because they can be modified more easily.
In the case of skin, extrinsic skin aging can be clearly
distinguished from intrinsic skin aging at a clinical, histological,
and molecular level. Clinical symptoms of extrinsic skin aging
include coarse wrinkles, irregular pigment spots, and elastosis
(Yaar et al., 2003). For decades, it has been thought that extrinsic
skin aging results predominantly from exposure of skin to solar
radiation, and the terms extrinsic and photoaging have been
used synonymously. There is, however, growing evidence that
other environmental factors may contribute to skin aging as
well. In particular, exposure of skin to tobacco smoke was found
to be an independent pathogenic factor (Schro
¨der et al., 2006).
Ambient particulate matter (PM) represents another envir-
onmental threat to which millions of humans worldwide are
exposed. Adverse effects of PM on human health are currently
a serious concern and have been shown to include a higher
risk for cancer, pulmonary, and cardiovascular diseases
(Beelen et al., 2008; Castano-Vinyals et al., 2008). The health
effects of ambient PM exposure on human skin in general, and
on skin aging in particular, have not yet been studied.
A major mechanism by which ambient PM exerts its
detrimental effects is through the generation of oxidative
stress (Donaldson et al., 2005), an important contributor to
extrinsic skin aging (Schro
¨der et al., 2006). Particles in the
nanosize range, especially those from traffic sources, are
considered among the most harmful components of ambient
PM. These nanoparticles cause oxidative stress in part
because their physical properties, i.e. small size but large
surface per unit mass, make them highly reactive toward
biological surfaces and structures (Donaldson et al., 2005).
It has been postulated that these particles can serve as
carriers for organic chemicals and metals that are capable of
&2010 The Society for Investigative Dermatology 2719
Received 24 February 2010; revised 11 May 2010; accepted 7 June 2010;
published online 22 July 2010
Institut fu
¨r umweltmedizinische Forschung an der Heinrich-Heine-
¨sseldorf gGmbH, Du
¨sseldorf, Germany;
Institute for Social
and Preventative Medicine at Swiss Tropical Institute Basel, Associated
Institute of the University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland and
The Este
´e Lauder
Companies, Melville, New York, USA
Correspondence: Jean Krutmann, Institut fu
¨r umweltmedizinische Forschung
an der Heinrich-Heine-Universita
¨sseldorf gGmbH, Auf’m Hennekamp
50, Du
¨sseldorf 40225, Germany. E-mail:
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Abbreviations: PAH, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon; PM, particulate
matter; SCINEXA, score of intrinsic and extrinsic skin aging
localizing in mitochondria and generating reactive oxygen
species (Li et al., 2003). In particular, polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons (PAHs) are adsorbed on the surface of
suspended PM in air of urban areas (Menichini, 1992). PAHs
can activate xenobiotic metabolism, which converts PAHs
to quinones. Quinones are redox-cycling chemicals, which
produce reactive oxygen species, and are therefore thought to
be key compounds in PM toxicity (Penning et al., 1999).
In view of the recent evidence that human skin (1) is exposed
to increased levels of ambient PM, which can penetrate skin
either through hair follicles or transepidermally (Lademann
et al., 2004), and (ii) possesses the necessary armamentarium to
respond to PM-bound PAHs (Fritsche et al., 2007; Jux et al.,
2009), we hypothesized that long-term exposure to air pollution
might lead to extrinsic skin aging through oxidative stress
generated by the particles themselves or by associated PAHs.
We tested the first part of this hypothesis in an epidemiological
study using a cohort of Caucasian women aged 70–80 years
(SALIA study, study on the influence of air pollution on lung
function, inflammation, and aging).
Study subjects and study areas
We investigated skin aging signs in 400 women in the SALIA
study cohort in 2008/2009. In Table 1 a description of all relevant
data of these study subjects is given separately for the participants
investigated in the Ruhr area and in the rural area (Borken). And in
Table 2 general information of the studyareacitiesaswellasof
other European cities is given. Table 1 shows that the participants
were almost equally distributed between rural and urban areas.
The women from the Ruhr area were slightly older (arithmetic
mean (AM) ¼74.3 years) than the women from Borken (AM
¼74.0 years). We also asked about known influencing factors of
skin aging. In this regard, about 17% had o10 years of school
education, indicating a worse social status. The mean body mass
index (BMI) was 27.6 in both study regions. Hormone replacement
therapy (HRT) was taken by 44.1% of the women from the Ruhr
area and by 29.1% of the women from Borken. There were more
women who ever smoked in the Ruhr area (23.2%) than in the
rural area (13.2%). More than 50% of the women had skin type I
or II according to Fitzpatrick. Concerning sun exposure behavior,
sunburns before the age of 21 years (52.1%) than women from
Borken (32.3%). Also women from the Ruhr area more often used
sunbeds (16.1%) than women from Borken (10.6%). Exposure to
PM was determined by four objective measurements as described
in detail in the Materials and Methods section. Briefly, we
determined the distance of participants’ residence to the next busy
road. Here, nearly 20% of the women lived 100 m or less away
from a busy road. The mean level of traffic-related particle
Table 1. Description of SALIA study subject characteristics
Ruhr area Rural area (Borken)
Sample size N211 189
Data from questionnaire
Age range AM (Min, Max) 74.3 (70.9–79.2) 74.0 (68.6–78.8)
o10 Years of school education %Yes (n) 16.1 (34) 18.0 (34)
BMI AM (95% CI) 27.6 (27.0–28.3) 27.6 (26.9–28.2)
Ever used HRT %Yes (n) 44.1 (93) 29.1 (55)
Ever smoked %Yes (n) 23.2 (49) 13.2 (25)
Light skin type (Fitzpatrick skin type I or II) %Yes (n) 55.5 (117) 54.0 (102)
At least one sunburn before the age of 21 %Yes (n) 52.1 (110) 32.3 (61)
At least one sunbed use %Yes (n) 16.1 (34) 10.6 (20)
Data from GIS-based models (2000/2003)
Distance p100 m from a busy road
(410,000 cars per day) %Yes (n) 21.8 (46) 15.3 (29)
Emission inventory 2000
Particles from traffic (kg a
) AM (IQR) 899.9 (736.8) 225.7 (215.7)
Soot (10
) AM (IQR) 2.2 (0.3) 1.7 (0.1)
Measurement at single stations from 2003–2007
background concentration in ambient air (mgm
) AM (IQR) 27.9 (3.4) 25.2 (0)
Abbreviations: AM (95% CI), arithmetic mean (95% confidence interval); BMI, body mass index; HRT, hormone replacement therapy; IQR, interquartile
range; Max, maximum; Min, minimum; %Yes (n), percentage and number of study subjects with respective characteristic.
2720 Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2010), Volume 130
A Vierko
¨tter et al.
Airborne Particles and Skin Aging
emission was 899.9 kg a
225.7 kg a
in Borken. The mean absorbance as a measure
of soot concentration in fine particles was around 2.0 10
m and the 5-year mean of the background PM with an
aerodynamic diameter of 10 mm(PM
) concentration was
approximately 26.5 mgm
cities, the cities of the Ruhr area are very highly polluted (Table 2).
Clinical signs of skin aging
Skin aging was assessed by means of the SCINEXA (score of
intrinsic and extrinsic skin aging). This score includes skin aging
signs that are characteristic for extrinsic and intrinsic skin aging,
and we previously showed that this score is suitable to deter-
mine and differentiate between extrinsic and intrinsic skin aging
(Figure 2; Vierko
¨tter et al., 2009). The occurrence of clinical
signs of skin aging in the SALIA study cohort is shown in
Table 3. The distribution of the score values of pigment
spots and seborrheic keratosis was log-normally distributed
and therefore the geometric mean was given. The geometric
mean of the score values of pigment spots was about 3.0 on
forehead up to more than 20.0 on forearm. The mean score
value of seborrheic keratosis on the upper part of the body
was 3.2. The distribution of the wrinkle grades, the grades of
telangiectasia as well as the laxity grades were normally
distributed, and in these cases the AM was given. The AM for
all wrinkles on different locations on the face was around 3.0.
The mean grade of telangiectasia was nearly 2.0 and the
mean laxity grade of the face was nearly 4.0. Solar elastosis
on the cheek was present in approximately 37% of women.
Association between exposure to airborne particles and
occurrence of skin aging signs
A significant association was found between traffic-related
airborne particles and signs of extrinsic skin aging, i.e.,
pigment spots on face and nasolabial fold. All adjusted mean
ratios and odds ratios (OR) are presented in Table 4.
There were 22% more spots on forehead and 20% more
spots on cheeks per increase of one interquartile range (IQR)
of the PM
absorbance ( ¼soot). For particles from traffic,
Table 2. Data about population density, latitude, temperature, and particle pollution by traffic of all cities
of the SALIA study area and further cities for comparison
City Country
Population density
per km
at the end
of year 2008 Latitude
Mean of daily
lowest temperature
in the year 2009
Mean of daily highest
temperature in the
year 2009
Soot (10
in the year 2000
Cities of SALIA study area
Borken Germany 260.9 51.9 7.1 15.9 1.66
Duisburg Germany 2122.2 51.4 9.3 17.2 2.12
Essen Germany 2756.6 51.5 7.2 14.2 2.43
Gelsenkirchen Germany 2499.2 51.6 2.20
Dortmund Germany 2084.2 51.5 7.5 14.3 2.00
Other European cities for comparison
Munich Germany 4275.0 48.0 5.7 14.9 1.84
Netherlands 397.2 50–54 5.6 13.5 1.64
Stockholm Sweden 4252.0 59.4 2.5 9.9 1.28
Adapted from Brauer et al. (2003).
Table 3. Description of skin aging signs evaluated
Extrinsic skin aging signs
Pigment spots
On forehead GM (95% CI) 3.3 (2.7–4.1)
On cheeks GM (95% CI) 8.1 (7.2–9.0)
On upper side of the forearm GM (95% CI) 22.7 (20.1–25.6)
On back of the hand GM (95% CI) 9.4 (8.3–10.8)
Coarse wrinkles
On forehead AM (95% CI) 3.2 (3.1–3.3)
In the crow’s feet area AM (95% CI) 2.8 (2.8–2.9)
Under the eyes AM (95% CI) 3.6 (3.5–3.6)
On upper lip AM (95% CI) 3.4 (3.3–3.5)
Nasolabial fold AM (95% CI) 3.7 (3.7–3.8)
Solar elastosis %Yes (n) 36.8 (147)
Telangiectasia AM (95% CI) 1.9 (1.8–2.1)
Intrinsic skin aging signs
Laxity AM (95% CI) 3.6 (3.5–3.7)
Seborrheic keratosis
GM (95% CI) 3.2 (2.8–3.7)
Abbreviations: AM (95% CI), arithmetic mean (95% confidence interval); GM
(95% CI), geometric mean (95% confidence interval); %Yes (n), percentage
and number of study subjects with respective skin aging symptom.
Seborrheic keratosis was evaluated in 368 study subjects. 2721
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Airborne Particles and Skin Aging
we found 16% more spots on forehead and 17% more spots
on cheeks per increase of one IQR. There was also a slight
increase of spots on cheeks per one IQR of background PM
concentrations of 8%. Furthermore, soot, particles from traffic,
and to a lesser extent the PM
background concentrations
were associated with a slightly more pronounced nasolabial
fold. Distance of 100 m or less from a busy road was also
associated with 35% more pigment spots on forehead and
15% more pigment spots on cheeks. However, it was not
significant, because the number of study subjects living close
to a busy road was too small.
The statistical models used accounted for other factors
known to influence skin aging. In the following the main
results for the influence of these factors are presented as
arithmetic or geometric mean ratio (AMR/GMR) and its 95%
confidence interval (95% CI). It was found that HRT was
associated with fewer wrinkles under the eyes (AMR: 0.93;
95% CI: 0.88–0.98) and less pronounced nasolabial folds
(AMR: 0.97; 95% CI: 0.93–1.00). Women with a skin type I or
II had significantly less spots on forehead (GMR: 0.72; 95%
CI: 0.56–0.92) and on cheeks (GMR: 0.69; 95% CI:
0.55–0.86); fewer wrinkles under the eyes (AMR: 0.95;
95%CI: 0.89–1.00) and on upper lips (AMR: 0.95; 95% CI:
0.89–1.00); and less solar elastosis (OR: 0.62; 95% CI:
0.41–0.95), but more pronounced telangiectasia (AMR: 1.12;
95% CI: 0.98–1.27) in comparison to skin type III or IV.
Sunburns in childhood and sunbed use were associated with
more spots, e.g., 40–50% more spots on forehead. Smoking
(current or prior) was associated with more wrinkles on upper
lips (AMR: 1.13; 95% CI: 1.07–1.20), increased solar elastosis
(OR: 2.11; 95% CI: 1.24–3.58), more pronounced telangiect-
asia (AMR: 1.26; 95% CI: 1.07–1.45), and laxity of the face
(AMR: 1.06; 95% CI: 1.00–1.11). Social status had no further
influence on skin aging when all influencing factors were
taken into account in one model.
This study provides epidemiological evidence that traffic-
related PM represents an important environmental factor that
contributes to extrinsic skin aging in humans. This conclusion
is based on the present observation that not only (i) an
increase in soot, but also (ii) an increase in particles from
traffic, and (iii) higher PM
background concentrations were
associated with more pigment spots on the face and more
pronounced nasolabial folds. The distance of residence to the
closest busy road was also associated with more pigment
spots, but this effect did not reach significance.
For determination of traffic-related PM, we applied the
most up to date state-of-the-art method according to Brauer
et al. (2003). Here, the exact geographic coordinates of each
study participants’ address were determined by geographic
information system, and the respective PM concentrations
Table 4. Association between different skin aging signs and exposure to airborne particles
Distance p100 m from
a busy road
Soot (per increase
of 0.5 10
Traffic-associated particles
(per 475 kg a
(per 5 lgm
Skin aging sign MR/OR 95% CI PMR/OR 95% CI PMR/OR 95% CI PMR/OR 95% CI P
Pigment spots
On forehead
1.35 0.98–1.86 0.068 1.22 1.03–1.45 0.022 1.16 1.06–1.27 0.002 1.07 0.99–1.15 0.078
On cheeks
1.15 0.86–1.54 0.362 1.20 1.03–1.40 0.019 1.17 1.08–1.27 0.000 1.08 1.01–1.15 0.027
On forearm
0.95 0.70–1.30 0.756 1.08 0.92–1.27 0.334 1.05 0.97–1.15 0.243 1.02 0.95–1.09 0.634
On back of hands
1.13 0.80–1.58 0.484 1.12 0.94–1.34 0.200 1.09 0.99–1.20 0.072 1.02 0.95–1.10 0.529
On forehead
0.97 0.88–1.06 0.504 0.96 0.91–1.01 0.078 0.99 0.96–1.02 0.390 0.99 0.97–1.01 0.153
Crow’s feet
0.99 0.92–1.06 0.731 0.98 0.94–1.01 0.208 0.98 0.96–1.00 0.114 0.99 0.97–1.00 0.077
Under the eyes
1.00 0.94–1.07 0.830 0.99 0.96–1.03 0.662 0.99 0.97–1.01 0.287 0.97 0.97–1.00 0.054
On upper lip
1.01 0.94–1.08 0.736 1.03 0.99–1.06 0.168 1.01 0.99–1.03 0.333 1.01 0.99–1.02 0.320
Nasolabial fold
1.04 1.00–1.08 0.056 1.04 1.01–1.06 0.001 1.03 1.01–1.04 0.000 1.01 1.01–1.02 0.020
Further skin aging symptoms
Solar elastosis
0.81 0.47–1.40 0.451 1.15 0.87–1.53 0.327 1.02 0.87–1.18 0.849 1.32 0.73–2.40 0.363
0.83 0.64–1.01 0.067 0.91 0.81–1.01 0.069 0.95 0.90–1.01 0.082 0.94 0.73–1.15 0.572
1.03 0.98–1.09 0.270 1.00 0.97–1.03 0.913 1.00 0.99–1.02 0.744 1.00 0.94–1.06 0.955
Seborrheic keratosis
1.17 0.68–1.65 0.504 1.13 0.87–1.39 0.325 1.01 0.87–1.15 0.898 1.18 0.63–1.73 0.523
Abbreviations: BMI, body mass index; 95% CI, 95% confidence interval; HRT, hormone replacement therapy; MR, mean ratio; OR, odds ratio.
Adjusted for age, skin type, sunburns, sunbed use, and smoking,
Adjusted for age, BMI, HRT, skin type, sunburns, sunbed use, and smoking.
Significant associations with a P-value o0.05 are marked in bold.
2722 Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2010), Volume 130
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Airborne Particles and Skin Aging
were assigned for this address using measurements and land
use regression. Furthermore, as the SALIA study participants
were (i) mainly housewives, (ii) almost all remained at the
same address for the last 30 years, and (iii) the pattern of
pollution of the different investigated cities remained the
same over the last decades, exposure of residence reflects
long-term exposure. Even in the hypothetical case that we
have studied only a random subgroup of all women willing to
participate, it is very unlikely that we have introduced bias
because (i) participation did not depend on air pollution
(Ranft et al., 2009) and (ii) participation could not depend on
skin aging signs as this aim of the study was not known to
participants beforehand.
The association between PM and skin aging symptoms
was strongest for pigment spot formation. The pathogenesis of
pigment spots is not very well understood. It has been
suggested that solar radiation is an important pathogenetic
factor and skin aging-associated pigment spots are therefore
also called lentigines solaris. In support of this hypothesis is
the finding that pigment spots are mainly present in
chronically sun-exposed areas of the skin (Garbe et al.,
1994), and that after chronic exposure to UVB radiation a
delayed induction of pigmented spots has been observed in
the skin of mice (Kadono et al., 2001). Here, we confirm
that UV exposure is significantly associated with a more
pronounced occurrence of pigment spots. UV exposure,
however, does not explain why pigment spots are the leading
skin aging symptom in Asians (Tschachler and Morizot,
2006), who, in contrast to Caucasians, avoid sun exposure
and thus should have less rather than more pigment spots. In
this regard, it is of interest that a number of recent
mechanistic studies indicate that skin pigmentation may
occur in the absence of UV radiation. For example, treatment
of melanocytes with selected oligonucleotides was able to
induce tyrosinase activity and subsequent melanin synthesis
in the absence of UV exposure (Eller and Gilchrest, 2000). Of
particular interest to this study, aryl hydrocarbon receptor
ligands, such as dioxin or PAHs, have recently been shown
to induce melanocyte proliferation and thereby skin tanning
in mice (Krutmann et al., 2008). PAHs are frequently bound
to the surface of combustion-derived PM and this mechanism
may therefore provide a scientific rationale for the association
between pigment spots and exposure to traffic-related PM
that we have observed. Accordingly, the strongest effect was
seen for soot, which carries a high concentration of surface-
bound PAHs.
The ability of particles to penetrate into skin is a matter of
debate. Different skin penetration studies have used a variety
of nanoparticle types as well as different experimental models
(Tinkle et al., 2003; Toll et al., 2004; Baroli et al., 2007;
Nohynek et al., 2007; Rouse et al., 2007). It is therefore
not surprising that conflicting results have been obtained. To
the best of our knowledge, however, no skin penetration
studies have been carried out with ambient PM, and more
specifically with the fraction of combustion-derived nano-
particles in the PM mixture. In general, there is no doubt that
particles can penetrate into the hair follicles depending on
their size (Lademann et al., 2004). Through this pathway
ambient particles may be able to reach viable cells in deeper
skin layers such as melanocytes and thus serve as Trojan
horses by releasing surface-bound PAHs and/or directly
affecting the function of skin cells. Further mechanistic
studies are required to determine the relative contribution
of such particles themselves versus particle-bound substances
to extrinsic skin aging.
In this study, in addition to traffic-related PM, we studied a
number of other factors thought to influence skin aging. All
these influencing factors were analyzed together with the
influence of air pollution in a multivariate statistical model.
Here, the use of HRT was associated with fewer wrinkles, as
previously described (Dunn et al., 1997). We also observed
that a light skin type was associated with less pigment spots,
less coarse wrinkles and elastosis, but more pronounced
telangiectasia. This is again consistent with previous reports
that these particular skin types show different characteristics
of extrinsic skin aging than darker skin types (Lober and
Fenske, 1990). In this study, reported sunburns in childhood
and sunbed use were associated with more pigment spots, but
not with more wrinkles, although both symptoms are known
to result from chronic UV exposure. It is therefore possible
that a more detailed UV exposure history is required to detect
the effect of UV exposure on wrinkles. However, it is unlikely
that the effects of air pollution on skin aging are confounded
by sun exposure, as all investigated cities lay next to
each other and the general climate and UV radiation flux is
essentially identical in these cities. Moreover, the effect
estimates for air pollution were not changed after including
assessments characterizing sun exposure in the models.
A smoking history was associated with more wrinkles, more
elastosis, and more pronounced telangiectasia, and these
observations are in agreement with the existing literature
(Kennedy et al., 2003; Schro
¨der et al., 2006). Taken
together these results indicate that the design and protocol
chosen for this study are suitable to test influencing factors
on skin aging with perhaps minor limitations for the UV
exposure effects.
To our knowledge, this is the first study to describe an
association between airborne particles and extrinsic skin
aging. Further studies should be conducted to confirm these
results not only in Caucasians, but also for other ethnic
groups such as Asian populations, where extrinsic skin
aging is predominantly characterized by the development
of pigment spots.
Study design and study participants
The SALIA study was initiated as a cross-sectional study between
1985 and 1994 as part of the Environmental Health Survey, which
was an element of the Clean Air Plan introduced by the Government
of North-Rhine Westphalia in Germany. A detailed description of the
SALIA study has been previously provided by Schikowski et al.
(2005). The study areas were chosen from the Ruhr district in
Germany and two rural counties north of the Ruhr district. They
represent a range of exposures to airborne PM from traffic and steel
and coal industries. In Table 2 the investigated cities are presented
with data about population, geographical position, climate, and air 2723
A Vierko
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Airborne Particles and Skin Aging
pollution conditions. For comparison reasons we provide these data
for other European city regions that were not investigated in the
SALIA study. In comparison with these European cities, the cities of
the Ruhr area are the areas most highly polluted with soot. In the
baseline investigation, all women aged 54–55 living in predefined
areas were asked to participate. The study was restricted to women
because the aim was to investigate the effects of exposure to airborne
PM, which would have been difficult in men of this region, who had
predominantly worked as miners with high PM exposure at their
work places. In Figure 1, a flow chart presents the SALIA study
cohort from baseline to follow-up in 2008/2009. In 2008 and 2009,
we conducted a follow-up of the SALIA study, in which we
investigated 402 women randomly selected out of all surviving
women, which gives their agreement for further investigations. The
women were now 70–80 years old. Of these, 400 women
participated in the skin examination. The Medical Ethics Committee
of the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany approved the follow-up
study. The Declaration of Helsinki Principles was followed and all
study participants were informed in detail by written form and have
given written consent.
Assessment of skin aging symptoms and its influencing factors
Skin aging symptoms, which are characteristic for intrinsic and
extrinsic skin aging, were evaluated on the basis of a validated skin
aging score, called SCINEXA (Vierko
¨tter et al., 2009), with slight
modifications to the original version. In Figure 2 the modified
SCINEXA for the SALIA study is shown. Extrinsic skin aging was
represented by pigment spots (lentigines), coarse wrinkles, elastosis,
and telangiectasia, whereas laxity and seborrheic keratosis indicated
intrinsic skin aging.
Pigment spots and seborrheic keratosis were given a value of 0 if
there were no spots or seborrheic keratosis, 5 indicated 1–10 spots or
seborrheic keratosis, 30 represented 11–50 spots or seborrheic
keratosis, and 75 indicated more than 50 spots or seborrheic
keratosis. Coarse wrinkles, telangiectasia, and laxity were scored
from 0 (not present) to 5 (very severely present) according to
photoreference scales (Tschachler and Morizot, 2006). Solar
elastosis was evaluated as Yes (present) or No (not present). The
study subjects were asked not to use any skin care products or
cosmetics on the day of examination.
Other variables, which might influence skin aging, were
determined by standardized interviews. These contained questions
about UV exposure (e.g., sunburns in childhood and sunbed use),
skin type according to Fitzpatrick (1988), social status (years of
school education), BMI, smoking history, and intake of HRT.
Assessment of exposure to airborne PM
Different approaches for the assessment of airborne PM were used.
First, based on the subject’s residential address and on available
traffic counts for the year 2000, distance of the residential address to
the next busy road with more than 10,000 cars per day was
determined using geographic information system. If a subject lived
100 m or less to a busy road, they were considered to have high
exposure to traffic-related particles. Second, we assessed the
exposure to motor vehicle exhaust by using emission inventories
from the year 2000 provided by the State Environment Agency of
North Rhine Westphalia (LANUV). These inventories are given in a
1 km grid and estimate particle emission per square kilometer. Third,
blackness of fine particle filters was used to estimate soot
concentration from traffic-related sources and was then assigned to
each individual’s address by land-use regression models (Hochadel
et al., 2006). This exposure assessment was identical to those
in the ‘‘Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Childhood Asthma’’ study
(Brauer et al., 2003; Cyrys et al., 2003). Here, PM
was determined as a marker for soot according to ISO 9835.
Fourth, measurements of total suspended particles or PM with an
aerodynamic diameter of 10 mm (PM
) were provided by monitoring
stations distributed over the Ruhr district in an 8 km grid, which have
been maintained by the State Environment Agency for more than
25 years. Total suspended particle measurements were converted
into PM
estimates using a factor of 0.71 (Gehring et al., 2006).
These measurements mainly reflect broadscale background variations
1985– 1994: Baseline investigation
4,874 Participants
2006: Questionnaire follow-up
2,116 Responded after three distributions
1,639 Agreed to participate in further examinations
399 Died by 2003 (mortality follow-up)
196 Died by 2006
252 Addresses not available
2008/2009: Follow-up examination
402 Randomly selected women, 400 of these
women participated in skin aging evaluation
153 Died by 2008 (mortality follow-up II)
75 Addresses not available
Figure 1.Flowchart showing the SALIA cohort from baseline until follow-up
in 2008/2009.
Skin aging signs: Localization: Scoring:
Extrinsic signs
Pigment spots1
On forehead 0 (0), 1–10 (5), 11–50 (30), >50 (75)
On cheeks 0 (0), 1–10 (5), 11–50 (30), >50 (75)
On upper side of the forearm 0 (0), 1–10 (5), 11–50 (30), >50 (75)
On back of the hand 0 (0), 1–10 (5), 11–50 (30), >50 (75)
Coarse wrinkles2
On forehead Grade 0 to 5
Wrinkles in crow’s feet area Grade 0 to 5
Under the eyes Grade 0 to 5
On upper lip Grade 0 to 5
Nasolabial fold Grade 0 to 5
Solar elastosis On cheeks Yes/no
Telangiectasia On cheeks Grade 0 to 5
Intrinsic signs
Laxity2Ovality of the face Grade 0 to 5
Seborrheic keratosis1On upper part of the body 0 (0), 1–10 (5), 11–50 (30), >50 (75)
1Scoring of spots and seborrheic keratosis with counts in paratheses, 2Grading with
photoreference scales: 0 = si
n not present, up to 5 = si
n very severely present.
Figure 2.Applied skin aging score on the basis of SCINEXA (score of
intrinsic and extrinsic skin aging; Vierko
¨tter et al., 2009).
2724 Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2010), Volume 130
A Vierko
¨tter et al.
Airborne Particles and Skin Aging
in air quality. The individual exposure to this background air
pollution was estimated by the PM
concentrations of the
monitoring station next to the participant’s residential address
averaged over the years 2003–2007.
Therefore, the total ambient PM was classified as (i) motor
vehicle exhaust, which was assessed indirectly by the subject’s
distance from a busy road and appropriate emission inventories;
(ii) soot, as estimated by blackness of PM
filters and; (iii) total
suspended particles (PM
), a value provided by long-term monitor-
ing stations.
Statistical analysis
A descriptive analysis summarizing evaluated skin aging indicators,
known influencing factors of skin aging, and air pollution data was
To analyze the effect of airborne particles on skin aging
symptoms adjusted for further factors influencing skin aging, we
used linear and logistic regression models. The adjusted regression
coefficients were transformed to GMR for log-normally distributed
symptoms with 95% CI, for normally distributed symptoms to
adjusted AMR with 95% CI (Schikowski et al., 2005; Vierko
¨tter et al.,
2009), and for categorical variables to adjusted OR with 95% CI. The
formulas for GMR (equation 1), AMR (equation 2), and OR (equation 3)
are the following:
where b
represents regression coefficient and M
the total mean.
The GMR and AMR are relative values for continuous variables
and are comparable in their meaning to the OR. They are more
easily interpreted than a simple regression coefficient. They describe
the relative change in skin aging signs when exposure is increased
by one unit. As exposure units, we used the IQR observed in the
population. An IQR means the difference of the 75th quartile and
the 25th quartile of the distribution of the particle pollution variables
(soot: 0.5 10
; traffic emissions: 475 kg a
and PM
). Like the OR, a GMR or AMR of 1 means that there is no
association, a GMR or AMR o1 means a negative association, and a
GMR or AMR 41 means a positive association.
In all models, data were adjusted for age (by year), Fitzpatrick
skin type (light vs. dark skin type), number of sunburns before the age
of 21, sunbed use (yes or no), and smoking history. BMI (kg m
) and
HRT were additionally included in the model for coarse wrinkles.
The mutually adjusted association was defined as significant if the
P-value was o0.05. The statistical computing was carried out using
SAS 9.2 (SAS/STAT Software; SAS Institute, Cary, NC, 2002–2003).
The authors state no conflict of interest.
The SALIA follow-up study was funded by the German Statutory Accident
Insurance (DGUV). The investigation of the skin was funded by SFB 728,
BMU (TP C1), and a grant from the Este
´e Lauder. Road maps with emissions
from traffic and PM values from measurement stations were maintained from
the State Environment Agency of North Rhine Westphalia (LANUV). We also
thank all study participants.
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... It is characterized by large open and closed comedones along with epidermal cysts over the nose, cheeks, temples, forehead and periorbital areas. [1][2][3] Aim To describe the link between Favre-Racouchot syndrome and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in an Indian patient. ...
... Vierkotter et al (2010) showed that cigarette smoking and ambient soot levels were important factors in causing pigment spots and wrinkles. 1 Cutaneous manifestations are frequently associated with pulmonary diseases. 2 pulmonary diseases can be life threatening and early detection and treatment may have impact on patient's quality of life. ...
... 4 Nicotine containing cigarette smoke induces alteration in sebum composition as it causes increased oxidation stress, lipid peroxidation and reduced levels of alpha-tocopherol. 1 There is high grade of lipid peroxidation in sebum of smokers which leads to comedones and acne. Squalene, which is particularly important per-oxidated lipid in human sebum has hyperproliferative effect on keratinocytes and is therefore "comedogenic". ...
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Introduction and aim. Favre-Racouchot syndrome though mostly reported in Caucasian men (with an estimated prevalence of 6% in adults older than 50 years), cases have been reported in dark-skinned population including Indians, albeit rarely. It is characterized by large open and closed comedones along with epidermal cysts over the nose, cheeks, temples, forehead and periorbital areas. The association of this condition with chronic heavy smoking is what it makes compelling. Description of the case report. We report a case of elderly male, chronic heavy smoker who was diagnosed as a case of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as per standard guidelines. He presented with multiple nodulo-cystic lesions and had undergone a skin biopsy. Histomorphology features were consistent with Favre-Racouchot syndrome. Conclusion. Early identification of this skin condition in mildly symptomatic and asymptomatic smokers may help clinicians to forewarn the patients regarding development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Shamsi MI, Dawar S, Shaafie HI, Chaudhry A. Favre-Racouchot syndrome and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-a common link.
... The SCINEXA score was used in several studies to evaluate skin aging, such as the influence of air pollution [66,67], chronic poor sleep quality [68], and even genetic variants associated with skin aging [69,70]. ...
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Skin type classification is important because it provides guidance for professionals and consumers to recommend and select the most appropriate cosmetic products and skin care protocols and it is also important in clinical research. Several methods have been proposed for classifying skin typologies such as non-invasive bioengineering tools (examples: Corneometer® and Sebumeter®), visual and tactile methods (subjective methods that evaluate skin appearance, texture, temperature, and abnormalities), artificial intelligence-based tools and instruments (examples: visual rating scales, and self-report instruments). Examples of known visual rating scales used to classify skin aging are the Griffiths Photonumeric Scale, the Glogau Scale, and the SCINEXA Scale. The Fitzpatrick Skin Phototype Classification and the Baumann Skin Type System are some of the self-report instruments used for skin type classification. Despite the diversity of methods to classify skin type and degree of skin aging, data on instruments are scarce and not adequately compiled. Validation in larger samples and with individuals of different ethnicities and geographic locations is needed to promote a more universal use. Visual rating scales and instruments are interesting tools that allow the skin to be promptly and efficiently examined, without using costly or complex equipment, and are very useful in a clinical or self-assessment context.
... [1][2][3] Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, tobacco abuse, and atmospheric environmental pollution are some factors that damage skin. [4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] The consequences of skin degradation have already been reported at both genomic and proteomic levels. [12][13][14][15][16] However, studies on biochemical alterations that result in metabolome changes in the skin are limited. ...
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... Skin aging is a naturally occurring process in all human beings. However, many lifestyles and environmental factors can also accelerate this process leading to prematurely aged skin [19]. ROS is well known as an important pathogenic factor in the aging process of the skin. ...
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... So far, TiO2-NPs and ZnO-NPs have been commonly used as reference NPs [44]. In another study, air pollutants such as soot and fine dust have been applied for this purpose [45]. The observed skin-aging effects were evidence of penetration of NPs through the skin. ...
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... Apart from the genetic and the obesity RS and in parts the smoking RS, the environmental risk scores were not associated with the outcomes. That the lower limit of the confidence interval of the air pollution risk score's coefficient is very close to zero in the skin aging example is in line with previous analyses in the SALIA study, which found associations of air pollution with skin aging [44] when using single-pollutant models with no need to split off a training sample. One might have expected to see associations of the aging traits with age (at least for the skin aging outcome, where the z-score does not account for age). ...
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... Interestingly, lower SDI countries display higher production of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) due to their carbon-driven economy and tobacco smoking, so these socioeconomic aspect may partially explain the motivation by which SD prevalence is inversely correlated with SDI [17]. In fact, pollution as well as life styles (i.e., smoking) produces PAHs capable to promote sebocytes hyperplasia via nuclear factor erythroidrelated factor 2 (Nrf2), aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), Activator protein 1 (AP-1), and nuclear factor kappa-lightchain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) [18,19]. ...
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Seborrheic dermatitis (SD) is a chronic skin disease affecting infants, adolescents, and adults. The cause of SD is not known. Previous studies suggested genetic and environmental roles in the etiology of the disease. However, epidemiological data on SD have been scarce. The study aimed to analyze the burden of SD. We analyzed national and macro-regional SD data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019 (GBD 2019) resources. Regression analysis was performed to compute the annual percent change (APC) and identify significant changes in the temporal prevalence trends of SD from 1990 to 2019 relative to age-standardized and crude world population. Pearson correlation test was used to evaluate the association between prevalence and Socio-Demographic Index (SDI) at a macro-regional level. Over the years, from 1990 to 2019, the age-standardized prevalence of SD had a slow growth trend, with an APC of + 0.10% (p < 0.001), while crude prevalence has been showing a greater increase with an APC of +0.32 (p < 0.001). In 2019, the regions with the highest prevalence in the world were Sub-Saharan Africa and North America, while Central Asia and Eastern Europe showed the lowest prevalence. Prevalence distribution by age showed an increase starting at the age class 60–64, then peaked at the age class 80–84, and a subsequent decrease. Males appeared to be slightly more affected than females at older ages. Correlation patterns between prevalence and SDI were not significant. In this study, we found that the prevalence of SD varies between the geographical regions. However, the overall age-standardized prevalence of the disease has been stable throughout 30 years (1990–2019).
... Urban pollution (particulate matter and gases) and smoking have been associated with accelerated skin aging [20], manifesting as premature hyperpigmentation or wrinkles, depending on the pollutant source [21], potentially owing to aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) activation [22], although a detailed biological mechanism remains to be established [22]. The aromatic compounds from particulate matter (PM) 2.5 can activate genetic expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) via AHR to induce cell senescence [23]. ...
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The medical literature on aesthetic dermatology has primarily focused on a light-skinned patient population, yet patients of darker skin types have different needs and priorities. In Chinese individuals, key concerns include altered pigmentation, which is perceived to age the individual, and also relates to the Chinese cultural standard of beauty of fair skin; many seek aesthetic treatment for this. Non-invasive cosmetic procedures such as lasers and injections are also gaining in popularity in the Chinese market, but this population is prone to hyperpigmentation as an adverse effect of such procedures. Considered and tailored approaches, both to primary concerns of photoaging and the side effects of cosmetic treatments, are warranted.
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Solar lentigines are a hallmark of human skin aging. They result from chronic exposure to sunlight and other environmental stressors. Recent studies also imply genetic factors, but findings are partially conflicting and lack replication. Via a multi-trait based analysis strategy, we discovered that genetic variants in telomerase reverse transcriptase were significantly associated with non-facial solar lentigines in two East Asian (TZL, N = 2,964; NSPT, N = 2,954) and one Caucasian population (SALIA, N=462), top SNP rs2853672 (PTZL = 1.32×10⁻²⁸, PNSPT = 3.66×10⁻¹⁷, PSALIA = 0.0007, Pmeta = 4.93×10⁻⁴⁴). The same variants were nominally associated with facial solar lentigines, but not associated with other skin aging or skin pigmentation traits. The solar lentigines-enhanced allele/haplotype upregulated transcription of the telomerase reverse transcriptase gene. Of note, well known telomerase reverse transcriptase-related aging markers such as leukocyte telomere length and intrinsic epigenetic age acceleration were not associated with solar lentigines. Our results indicate a previously unrecognized role of telomerase reverse transcriptase in skin aging-related lentigines formation.
Reversing or slowing down the skin aging process is one of the most intriguing areas of focus across the social and scientific communities around the world. While aging is considered a universal and inevitable natural process of physiological decline, the aging of the skin is the most apparent visual representation of an individual’s health. Aging skin may be objectively defined by epidermal thinning; increased transepidermal water loss; decreased cutaneous barrier function; loss of elasticity, laxity, and textured appearance; and gradual deterioration of the epidermal immune environment. As the largest structure of the immune system and of the body as a whole, the skin is the most vulnerable barrier of defense against the environment. The skin reflects an individual’s exposures, lifestyle habits, and overall health. From an immunological perspective, cytokines and chemokines act as a central character in the communicating of the immunity in skin aging. These cell signaling proteins serve as the intercellular communication link. This review aims to elucidate how cell-cell crosstalk through cytokines and chemokines, and the interplay between host cells, infiltrating immune cells, and exogenous factors contribute to the overall aging skin.
As skin physiology and skin aging are very complex processes, it is not surprising that ongoing research efforts uncover more and more noxious substances with detrimental effects on the skin. Expanding the field of view, the effects of IR radiation, tobacco smoke, and ozone have received increasing attention. Besides the understanding of the pathomechanisms involved, questions of adequate protection arise, challenging modern research to counter premature skin aging. Life-style is an important topic as tobacco smoke and ozone can be avoided in our modern society, and IR-A can be avoided at least partially. Nonetheless, the major portion of our daily IR-A load cannot be avoided and therefore additional protective approaches must be investigated.
Ethnic differences in skin properties has attracted great interest in the past, but apart from the visible differences in pigmentation, their assessment has frequently yielded indefinite or conflicting results. Whereas it is self-evident that skin aging affects all human beings regardless of their ethnic background, it is commonly assumed that differences in the rate of appearance of the signs of aging exist between different ethnic groups. As far as premature aging due to sun exposure is concerned, evidence exists that natural photoprotection by melanin and melanosomal dispersion influences both the severity and manifestations of photoaging. Unfortunately, there are only a few studies in which aging and photoaging were compared directly in the context of different racial backgrounds. This is probably, at least in part, due to the fact that for such a study a multitude of confounding factors such as differences in environment, food and life-style habits of the different ethnic groups cannot be easily controlled for. Aware of these constraints, we sought to determine whether defined signs of skin aging appear at comparable severity and rates in Japanese and French women and were able to show that the two study populations differed in the rate of appearance of different types of wrinkles and age-associated pigment changes.
Objective: To evaluate the relation between noncontraceptive estrogen use and skin wrinkling, dryness, and atrophy. Design: Cross-sectional analysis of a national probability sample-based cohort study. Setting: Multiple community sites throughout the United States. Participants: Postmenopausal women (n=3875) aged 40 years and older at baseline. Measurements: Skin conditions (wrinkling, dryness, and atrophy) were ascertained using a uniform clinical examination by trained dermatology resident physicians. Self-reported use of estrogen before the baseline examination, sunlight exposure, and smoking history were obtained by standardized interview. Body mass index, a measure of weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters, was evaluated in uniform examination clothing. Results: Mean (±SD) age of the participants was 61.6 (±9.0) years and mean (±SD) number of years since menopause was 15.6 (±9.4). Most were white (83.7%), the remainder being African American (15.9%) or another race (0.4%). Atrophy was present in 499 (16.2%), dry skin in 1132 (36.2%), and wrinkled skin in 880 women (28.2%). The prevalence of all 3 skin conditions was lower in African American women compared with white women. Information on hormone use was available for 3403 participants (88%). Among all women, after adjustment for age, body mass index, and sunlight exposure, estrogen use was associated with a statistically significant decrease in the likelihood of senile dry skin (odds ratio, 0.76; 95% confidence interval, 0.60-0.97). The odds of wrinkling were substantially lower in estrogen users, adjusted for age, body mass index, and sun exposure (odds ratio, 0.68; 95% confidence interval, 0.52-0.89) and additionally for smoking (odds ratio, 0.67; 95% confidence interval, 0.44-1.01). In multivariable models, estrogen use was not associated with skin atrophy. Conclusion: These results strongly suggest that estrogen use prevents dry skin and skin wrinkling, thus extending the potential benefits of postmenopausal estrogen therapy to include protection against selected ageand menopause-associated dermatologic conditions.Arch Dermatol. 1997;133:339-342
Die Effektivität der Penetration von Mikropartikeln in die menschliche Haut hängt in entscheidendem Maße von ihrer Größe und der Art der Formulierung ab, in der sie appliziert werden. Mikropartikel von >1 µm dringen kaum in die Haut ein und sind an der Oberfläche lokalisiert. Sie eignen sich daher sehr gut zum Abdecken von Hautoberflächen, wie z. B. bei der Camouflage oder beim Schutz vor UV-Strahlung mit Sonnenschutzmitteln. Während die Penetration der Mikropartikel in die Lipidschichten des Stratum corneum begrenzt ist, konnte eine Penetration bis zu einer Tiefe von >2 mm in die Haarfollikel nachgewiesen werden. Hierfür eignen sich besonders Mikropartikel mit einem Durchmesser von Keywords: Camouflage; Haarfollikel; Hair follicles; Microparticles; Mikropartikel; Penetration; TiO2 Document Type: Research Article DOI: Affiliations: 1: Bereich Hautphysiologie der Klinik für Dermatologie, Venerologie und Allergologie, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charité, Email: 2: Bereich Hautphysiologie der Klinik für Dermatologie, Venerologie und Allergologie, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charité, Publication date: December 1, 2004 $(document).ready(function() { var shortdescription = $(".originaldescription").text().replace(/\\&/g, '&').replace(/\\, '<').replace(/\\>/g, '>').replace(/\\t/g, ' ').replace(/\\n/g, ''); if (shortdescription.length > 350){ shortdescription = "" + shortdescription.substring(0,250) + "... more"; } $(".descriptionitem").prepend(shortdescription); $(".shortdescription a").click(function() { $(".shortdescription").hide(); $(".originaldescription").slideDown(); return false; }); }); Related content In this: publication By this: publisher By this author: Lademann, J. ; Schaefer, H. ; Otberg, N. ; Teichmann, A. ; Blume-Peytavi, U. ; Sterry, W. GA_googleFillSlot("Horizontal_banner_bottom");
Global regression models were developed to estimate individual levels of long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollutants. The models are based on data of a one-year measurement programme including geographic data on traffic and population densities. This investigation is part of a cohort study on the impact of traffic-related air pollution on respiratory health, conducted at the westerly end of the Ruhr-area in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. Concentrations of NO2, fine particle mass (PM2.5) and filter absorbance of PM2.5 as a marker for soot were measured at 40 sites spread throughout the study region. Fourteen-day samples were taken between March 2002 and March 2003 for each season and site. Annual average concentrations for the sites were determined after adjustment for temporal variation. Information on traffic counts in major roads, building densities and community population figures were collected in a geographical information system (GIS). This information was used to calculate different potential traffic-based predictors: (a) daily traffic flow and maximum traffic intensity of buffers with radii from 50 to 10 000 m and (b) distances to main roads and highways. NO2 concentration and PM2.5 absorbance were strongly correlated with the traffic-based variables. Linear regression prediction models, which involved predictors with radii of 50 to 1000 m, were developed for the Wesel region where most of the cohort members lived. They reached a model fit (R2) of 0.81 and 0.65 for NO2 and PM2.5 absorbance, respectively. Regression models for the whole area required larger spatial scales and reached R2=0.90 and 0.82. Comparison of predicted values with NO2 measurements at independent public monitoring stations showed a satisfactory association (r=0.66). PM2.5 concentration, however, was only slightly correlated and thus poorly predictable by traffic-based variables (r<0.3). We concluded that NO2 and soot can be considered truly traffic-related pollutants, and that GIS-based regression models offer a promising approach to assess individual levels of exposure to these pollutants.
Several case-control studies identified common and atypical melanocytic nevi as major risk indicators for the development of cutaneous melanoma. The present investigation was planned to detect factors associated with the prevalence of these melanoma risk markers. Whole-body examination findings and interview data of 513 melanoma patients and 498 age- and sex-matched control subjects were analyzed. Existence of more than 50 common melanocytic nevi and the presence of atypical melanocytic nevi were significantly related to age and gender, with significantly elevated relative risk for their prevalence before the age of 60 and in males. Additionally, sunburns before the age of 20 were significantly associated with both more than 50 common melanocytic nevi (relative risk = 1.7) and the presence of atypical melanocytic nevi (relative risk = 1.5). Actinic lentigines were found more frequently with increasing age, and the presence of actinic lentigines was significantly related to a tendency of freckling in adolescence (relative risk = 2.0) and to two or more sunburns after the age of 20 (relative risk = 1.6). In conclusion, sunburns before the age of 20 contribute to the development of multiple melanocytic nevi and atypical melanocytic nevi. In adulthood, this type of sun exposure is associated with the development of actinic lentigines. The relative risk of developing cutaneous melanoma increases in association with the development of these benign melanocytic lesions.Keywords: melanocytic nevi, atypical melanocytic nevi, actinic lentigines, freckles, sunburn, melanoma
Most studies on the association between lung cancer and air pollution have investigated mortality. There have been few studies of lung cancer incidence. We used data from the ongoing Netherlands Cohort Study on Diet and Cancer for 114,378 subjects with follow-up from September 1986 to December 1997. Exposure to black smoke, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter < or =2.5 microm (PM2.5) and traffic intensity variables (intensity on nearest road, intensity in a 100 m buffer, and an indicator variable for living close to a major road) were estimated at the home address. We conducted Cox proportional hazard analyses in the full cohort adjusting for age, sex, smoking status, and area-level socioeconomic status. We also carried out case-cohort analyses using more potential confounders on a subset of study participants for whom complete information from the baseline questionnaire had been processed. Adjusted analyses included 1940 cases for the full cohort and 1295 cases for the case-cohort analysis. Relative risks (RRs) for the overall air pollution concentrations were slightly below unity, and for the traffic variables RRs were slightly elevated. Risk was elevated among people who never smoked cigarettes (40,114 participants; 252 cases), with RRs of 1.47 (95% confidence interval = 1.01-2.16) for overall black smoke concentration, 1.11 (0.88-1.41) for traffic intensity on nearest road, and 1.55 (0.98-2.43) for living near a major road. We found evidence for an association of exposure to black smoke and traffic with lung cancer incidence in people who had never smoked. No associations were found for the full cohort, or for other categories of smoking.
Animal studies have suggested that fine particulate matter (PM) can translocate from the upper respiratory tract to the brain and cause brain inflammation. Brain inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Hypothesizing therefore that long-term exposure to fine PM might contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the objective of this study was to investigate the association between exposure to fine PM and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) which is associated with a high risk of progression to AD. A study group of 399 women aged 68-79 years who lived for more than 20 years at the same residential address has been assessed for long-term exposure to PM and tested for MCI. The exposure assessment comprised background concentration of PM(10) and traffic-related PM indicated by the distance of the residential address to the next busy road. The women were assessed for MCI by a battery of several neuropsychological tests and their odor identification ability. Consistent effects of traffic-related air pollution exposure on test performances including a dose-response relation were found. The associations were adjusted for potential confounders using regression analysis. These results indicate that chronic exposure to traffic-related PM may be involved in the pathogenesis of AD.