University Of Tasmania

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Predictors of Beagley-Gibson skin cast grade in older adults

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The Beagley-Gibson (BG) grading system utilizes microtopographical skin changes to generate an individualized, objective estimate of cumulative, lifetime ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure. However, predictors of BG grade are ill-defined, particularly in older populations. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to describe the factors associated with skin damage as measured by the BG method in 835 community-dwelling older adults.

METHODS: Study participants aged 53-83 years had silicone casts taken from the dorsum of both hands and graded by the BG method. Lifetime sun exposure, skin phenotypic traits and smoking status were assessed by questionnaire. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and melanin density were measured using radioimmunoassay and spectrophotometry, respectively. Ordered logistic regression was used to compute a single odds ratio (OR) by taking BG grade as the outcome variable.

RESULTS: Higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D was associated with increasing BG grade (OR = 1.39, P = 0.02) in adjusted analysis. Age (OR = 1.14, P < 0.001), occupational sun exposure (OR = 1.62, P < 0.001), ability to tan (OR = 1.40, P < 0.001), melanin density (OR=0.79, P = 0.001), lifetime leisure time sun exposure (OR = 1.21, P = 0.004), current smoking (OR = 1.82, P = 0.007), propensity to sunburn (OR = 1.18, P = 0.016), and waist-hip ratio (OR = 1.10, P = 0.02) were independent predictors of BG grade. Hair colour, number of sunburns, body mass index and gender were not independent predictors of BG grade.

CONCLUSIONS: Beagley-Gibson skin cast grade is a biologically relevant marker of UVR exposure in older adults influenced by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors.


Publication title

Skin Research and Technology








Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified

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