Pigmentation Traits, Sun Exposure, and Risk of Incident Vitiligo in Women.


Vitiligo is the most common cutaneous depigmentation disorder worldwide, yet little is known about specific risk factors for disease development. Using data from the Nurses' Health Study, a prospective cohort study of 51,337 white women, we examined the associations between (i) pigmentary traits and (ii) reactions to sun exposure and risk of incident vitiligo. Nurses' Health Study participants responded to a question about clinician-diagnosed vitiligo and year of diagnosis (2001 or before, 2002-2005, 2006-2009, 2010-2011, or 2012+). We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to estimate the multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals of incident vitiligo associated with exposures variables, adjusting for potential confounders. We documented 271 cases of incident vitiligo over 835,594 person-years. Vitiligo risk was higher in women who had at least one mole larger than 3 mm in diameter on their left arms (hazard ratio = 1.37, 95% confidence interval = 1.02-1.83). Additionally, vitiligo risk was higher among women with better tanning ability (hazard ratio = 2.59, 95% confidence interval = 1.21-5.54) and in women who experienced at least one blistering sunburn (hazard ratio = 2.17, 95% confidence interval = 1.15-4.10). In this study, upper extremity moles, a higher ability to achieve a tan, and history of a blistering sunburn were associated with a higher risk of developing vitiligo in a population of white women.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jid.2017.02.004

Cite this paper

@article{Dunlap2017PigmentationTS, title={Pigmentation Traits, Sun Exposure, and Risk of Incident Vitiligo in Women.}, author={Rachel Dunlap and Shaowei Wu and Erin M Wilmer and EunYoung Cho and Wen-qing Li and Newsha Lajevardi and Abrar A. Qureshi}, journal={The Journal of investigative dermatology}, year={2017}, volume={137 6}, pages={1234-1239} }