Conjunctival Ultraviolet Autofluorescence as a Measure of Past Sun Exposure in Children

Cong Sun, Angela Pezic, David A Mackey, John B Carlin, Andrew Kemp, Justine A Ellis, Fergus J Cameron, Christine P Rodda, Terence Dwyer, Minas T Coroneo, Anne Louise Ponsonby

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Conjunctival ultraviolet autofluorescence (CUVAF) area detected from UVAF photographs is a recently developed potential marker for past sun exposure, but its relationship with sun-related factors has not been fully investigated.Methods: The study included 339 healthy children ages 5 to 15 years in Melbourne, Australia. Data were collected by questionnaire and examination at school. CUVAF area was measured using a computer program and analyzed as a continuous and dichotomous outcome (any/none).Results: Fifty-three children (15.6%) had detectable CUVAF, and the youngest age at which a child showed sun damage was 8 years. Compared with silicone skin cast score, there was good inter-grader agreement on CUVAF grading, with Cohen kappa 0.85 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.65-1.00] for total CUVAF area using both eye photographs. Perfect intra-grader agreement was achieved. Fairer pigmentation, including medium/fair skin color [adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 3.42; 95% CI, 1.02-11.48 vs. dark/olive] and blue/gray eye color (AOR, 4.07; 95% CI, 1.73-9.55 vs. brown) was associated with increased odds of CUVAF. Increasing lifetime sunburn number (e.g., AOR, 2.89; 95% CI, 1.14-7.35 and 4.29; 1.04-17.76 for sunburns 2 to 4 and ≥ 5 times, respectively, vs. no sunburns, trend P = 0.004) and freckling by the end of last summer were associated with increased odds of CUVAF.Conclusions: CUVAF area can be an a priori objective measure of past sun exposure in pediatric populations for future research.Impact: To our knowledge, this is the first pediatric study that evaluated associations of sun-related risk factors with CUVAF. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 26(7); 1146-53. ©2017 AACR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1146-1153
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


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