Background: Although the genetic influence on polymorphic light eruption (PLE) is well established, the role of lifestyle factors is less well defined. Methods: A retrospective case-control study was conducted that included 74 PLE patients and 102 controls. Each participant was interviewed about demographic, disease and lifestyle characteristics such as smoking, alcohol consumption and use of medications. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to calculate adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: Compared with the controls, patients with PLE were significantly more likely to be younger females (P<0.05). Univariate analysis did not show a significant association between any of the smoking-related questions and PLE. However, after adjusting for gender and drinking alcohol, patients with PLE were significantly more likely to smoke 15 cigarettes or more daily [adjusted OR = 4.06 (95% CI = 1.19, 13.80) compared with 0 daily cigarettes] than controls. Participants who consumed six or more drinks a week were less likely to have PLE [adjusted OR = 0.24 (95% CI = 0.07, 0.80)]. In contrast, women who used oral anticonceptives for a longer period were four-fold more likely to have PLE [adjusted OR = 4.74 (95% CI = 1.33, 16.86)]. Conclusion: Several lifestyle factors may be associated with PLE, but further studies are warranted to confirm these retrospective findings.

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Photodermatology Photoimmunology and Photomedicine
Department of Dermatology

Mentens, N, Lambert, J, & Nijsten, T.E.C. (2006). Polymorphic light eruption may be associated with cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption. Photodermatology Photoimmunology and Photomedicine, 22(2), 87–92. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0781.2006.00204.x