Moreover, the cultural viewpoint should be used in the assessment and perception of skin disease because ethnic groups may differ in their views of the diseases. Most data on skin diseases in the general population come from Western subjects who have been diagnosed in hospitals. Self-reported cases on skin morbidity have shown that skin disease is related to overall poor health and low socioeconomic status. Thus, the goal of this research study was to determine the presence of ethnic differences in self-reported skin morbidity among adults of ethnic groups in a Norwegian urban community.
The study design was cross-sectional, involving residents of Oslo County in Norway. A questionnaire was mailed to 40,888 individuals, of which 18,747 responded. The invitation to participate was based on the participant’s age, socio-demographic status, and country of birth. The questionnaires obtained information on socio-demographic factors and aspects of health and self-reported health conditions, which included details on health conditions. From their responses, participants were further grouped based on migration history, diet, language and religion. One hundred fifteen nationalities were represented in the sample and were classified according to their region of origin and income. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences.
The sample population had an approximately uniform age and contained more females. Eighty-four percent of the sample was from Norway, with the rest coming from Western countries, Eastern Europe, East Asia, Middle East, India and Africa. In men, more reports of skin itch came from East Asians, while dry and sore skin was more common in those from Middle East and North Africa. Hair loss was the main complaint of Indian, Middle Eastern and North African males. In contrast, the women reported different skin problems. Pimples prevailed in Africans, and sweat in Eastern Europeans,