Solar Ultraviolet Radiation and Skin Damage: An Epidemiological Study among a Chinese Population

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To explore skin damage resulting from solar ultraviolet radiation on Mongoloid people, we investigated 470 healthy people in northeast China. We assessed their skin texture and elastic fibers, number of Langerhans cells, and the incidence of p53 gene mutations. The results showed that solar ultraviolet radiation played a significant role in aging of skin in Chinese people; aging began at 30 y of age (i.e., 20 y later than in Caucasians). In the high-exposure group, aging of skin was twice as severe and occurred 10 y earlier than in the low-exposure group. The counts of Langerhans cells had a tendency to decrease in the high-exposure group. Neither p53 mutations nor solar keratosis were found in individuals of any age-findings that indicated a qualitative different pattern than that of Caucasians.

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