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Comparison of risk factor profiles concerning self-reported skin complaints and objectively determined skin symptoms in german office workers

: Brasche, S.; Bullinger, M.; Schwab, R.; Gebhardt, H.; Herzog, V.; Bischof, W.


Indoor Air 14 (2004), No.2, pp.137-143
ISSN: 0905-6947
ISSN: 1600-0668
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IBP ()

The correspondence between impact factor profiles of self-reported skin sensation and of objectively determined skin symptoms was examined using data from the ProKlimA project (1994-1999). A sub-sample of 925 office workers participated in measurements of skin hydration and sebum content and responded to a questionnaire assessing sensory perception. The calculation of multiple logistic regression models revealed a significant increased risk for female sex [Odds ratio (OR): 2.3; confidence interval (CI): 1.4-3.6], poor software (OR: 2.2; CI: 1.3-4.0), unfavorable job characteristics (OR: 1.8; CI: 1.1-2.8), allergic illness (OR: 1.5; CI: 1.1-2.2) and the use of skin cream (OR:2.6; CI: 1.6-4.4) on the subjective perception of skin sensation. Regarding the objective medical examination of the skin humidity a significant increased risk was detected for a high concentration of Total Volatile Organic Compounds (OR: 2.5; CI: 1.3-4.8) and a low relative humidity (OR:1.9; CI: 1.1-3.4). The likewise objectively measured low sebum content is not associated with environmental variables. The impact profiles on subjective vs. objective outcome variables differ in a clear and typical way. Skin related sensory perception is mainly influenced by job-related and personal impacts. Indoor environmental characteristics affect skin hydration. We conclude the need to develop, to adapt and to use objective clinical methods applicable for field monitoring parallel to questioning.