Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 20-August-2004, Vol 117 No 1200
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Acne prevalence in secondary school students and their perceived difficulty in accessing acne treatment
Diana Purvis, Elizabeth Robinson, Peter Watson
To describe the epidemiology of acne in New Zealand adolescents and their access to acne treatment.
Secondary analysis of data collected in the ‘Youth2000’ survey. A random sample of 12,934 Year 9–13 students, from 133 secondary schools across New Zealand, was invited to participate. The survey included items asking about self-perceived acne and access to acne treatment.
The ‘Youth2000’ school response rate was 85.7%, the student response rate 75.0%, and the overall response rate 64.3%. Of the 9570 students who completed the questions on acne, 67.3% reported having acne. ‘Problem acne’ was reported by 14.1% of students and was more frequently reported by female, Pacific, and older students. Students with ‘problem acne’ (as well as female, Maori, and Pacific students) were significantly more likely to report difficulty accessing medical treatment for acne (46.0% vs 13.3%; OR 5.29). These differences persisted after controlling for socioeconomic factors.
Acne is perceived as a significant health problem by nearly 1 in 7 adolescents. For those with ‘problem acne,’ effective treatment is available but not necessarily accessible. There are also disparities in access to treatment, particularly for females, Maori, and Pacific ethnic groups. This important youth health issue needs to be addressed.
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