Meerwaldt et al correlated skin autofluorescence (AF) with cardiac mortality in patients with diabetes. The authors are from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands and the University of South Carolina.

Skin autofluorescence is associated with accumulation of compounds such as carboxymethyllysine (CML) and pentosidine and reflects long-term metabolic burden. It correlates with coronary heart diseaes and overall cardiac mortality.



(1) AFR (Diagnoptics BV, Groningen)

(2) PC-1000 fiber optic spectrophotometer (Ocean Optics, Dunedin, FLorida)



(1) An area of skin over the forearm is shielded from surrounding light.

(2) An area of skin 1 square cm is illuminated with light 300 to 420 nm.

(3) Light intensity from the skin is measured with a spectrophotometer in the 300 to 600 nm range.


measure of autofluorescence =

= (average light intensity per nm in the range 420 to 600 nm) / (average light intensity in the range of 300 to 420 nm)


Odds ratio for coronary artery disease: 7.9

Odds ration for mortality: 3.0


Skin Autofluorescence

5 Year Mortality Rate

< 0.02


0.02 to 0.03


> 0.03



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