ABU DHABI, May 10 (Xinhua) -- A study by a university in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) showed that high rates of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in women of the Gulf nation could be caused by synthetic forms of henna dye, a local English daily reported Monday.
Emirati women are almost twice as likely as men to develop leukaemia, while they were also 63 percent more likely to be affected than expatriate women, The National said, citing the UAE University's study that looked at 263 cases of AML and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).
The research also found that the rate of AML among UAE nationals was 78 percent higher than in expatriates, the report said.
Chemicals in henna dye, which is used to decorate the body, and a lack of sunlight could be behind the increased incidence, Dr. Inaam Hassan, an associate professor at the UAE University, was quoted as saying.
"I could not understand the results because men and women live in the same environment; they eat the same foods and breathe the same air," she said. "The only difference was the use of henna."
According to The National, many modern henna dyes use synthetic chemicals such as benzene to produce a deeper color.