Screening for acanthosis nigricans: Analyzing the correlation between socio-economics and acanthosis nigricans

Date

2005-05

Authors

Walker, Craig A.

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Abstract

Contemporary research pertaining to the prevalence rate of schoolchildren with a skin pigmentation condition called acanthosis nigricans demonstrates that causal factors, such as ethnicity and obesity, can make children more at-risk for obtaining this condition which results from hyperinsulinemia. Currently, states, such as Texas, require school nurses to screen certain schoolchildren for skin markers on the nape of the neck and other skin fold locations so these children may be referred to a primary care physician for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. While research work is abundant in assessing genetic and ethnic causal relationships among known populations experiencing this skin condition, no research exists that measures the correlation of socio-economics among the population of children with acanthosis nigricans. Socio-economics can influence an individual’s lifestyle and behavior and it can play a role in effecting a person’s diet, nutrition, and overall health status putting children more at-risk in obtaining acanthosis nigricans. The purpose of this thesis is to determine if a correlation exists between socio-economic factors and schoolchildren with acanthosis nigricans. The thesis factors out aspects, such as ethnicity, in the causal relationship in order to determine if children of a lower socioeconomic status may be more at-risk in obtaining acanthosis nigricans than children of a higher socio-economic status. The thesis purports this position by first analyzing contemporary research on acanthosis nigricans to defend the position that research is absent with relation to the thesis’ hypothesis. The thesis sets forth its analysis by relying upon primary data resulting from a case-control study involving schoolchildren and their parents in both urban and rural populations of Texas and utilizes secondary data sources for cross-comparison of its primary data measuring socio-economic status. The conclusion of this research and analysis demonstrates that correlations exist between socio-economic factors and the prevalence of acanthosis nigricans, and this data supports the notion that children of lower socio-economic status could be more at-risk of obtaining acanthosis nigricans than those children of higher socio-economic status in lieu of the socio-economic factors effecting their overall health status.

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Keywords

children, Acanthosis nigricans, diabetes, obesity

Citation

Walker, C. A. (2005). Screening for acanthosis nigricans: Analyzing the correlation between socio-economics and acanthosis nigricans (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.

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