Limited data are available on the prevalence and risk factors of actinic keratoses (AKs). Within the Rotterdam Study, full-body skin examinations were performed among participants aged 45 years or older to estimate the age-and sex-standardized prevalence of AK and its associated risk factors. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for associations between risk factors and the presence of 1-3, 4-9, and ≥10 AKs. Of the 2,061 inspected cohort members (mean age 72 years), 21% had 1-3, 9% had 4-9, and 8% had ≥10 AKs. AK prevalence was 49% (95% CI: 46-52%) for men and 28% (26-31%) for women. Male gender, older age, light pigmentation status, severe baldness, skin wrinkling, and high tendency for sunburn were significantly associated with extensive actinic damage (≥10 AKs) in the multivariate analyses. Especially bald males were at an increased risk of severe actinic skin damage (adjusted OR=7.0 (3.8-13.1)). The prevalence of AK is very high, especially among elderly bald males. The prevention and management of AK is a true challenge for patients, physicians, and health-care policymakers.

Additional Metadata
Keywords actinic keratosis, adult, aged, alopecia, article, female, human, major clinical study, male, prevalence, priority journal, risk factor, skin defect, skin examination, skin pigmentation, sunburn, wrinkle
Persistent URL,
Journal The Journal of Investigative Dermatology
Flohil, S.C, van der Leest, R.J.T, Dowlatshahi, E.A, Hofman, A, de Vries, E, & Nijsten, T.E.C. (2013). Prevalence of actinic keratosis and its risk factors in the general population: The rotterdam study. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 133(8), 1971–1978. doi:10.1038/jid.2013.134