Reference values for the Chinese population of skin autofluorescence as a marker of advanced glycation end products accumulated in tissue

X Yue, H Hu, M Koetsier, R Graaff, C Han
Diabetic Medicine: a Journal of the British Diabetic Association 2011, 28 (7): 818-23

AIM: Advanced glycation end products play an important role in the pathophysiology of several chronic and age-related diseases, especially diabetes mellitus. Skin autofluorescence is a non-invasive method for assessing levels of tissue advanced glycation end products. This study aims to establish the normal reference value of advanced glycation end products accumulated in tissue measured by the advanced glycation end product reader--skin autofluorescence--and discusses some factors influencing it.

METHODS: The values of autofluorescence in healthy individuals in China were determined by the advanced glycation end product reader; age, gender, skin reflectance, smoking habits and alcohol consumption of the subjects were also recorded.

RESULTS: The mean reference values of autofluorescence in healthy Chinese subjects are (95% confidence interval) 20-29 years: 1.54-1.62 arbitrary units; 30-39 years: 1.66-1.75; 40-49 years: 1.78-1.89; 50-59 years: 1.87-2.03; 60-69 years: 1.86-2.09; 70-79 years: 1.97-2.31. The value of autofluorescence is strongly related to age, but no significant difference between males and females were found (all P > 0.05). Autofluorescence was higher in smokers than in non-smokers (P < 0.05). In persons with low skin reflectance (< 10%), skin autofluorescence was dependent on skin colour, but was still related to age.

CONCLUSIONS: The mean reference values of autofluorescence we established could be used for a Chinese population in a clinical setting and are agreement with those in a Caucasian population. Future developments are needed to make the advanced glycation end product reader reliable for lower skin reflections as well, independently of the skin colour.

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