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Risk factors for developing cutaneous melanoma and criteria for identifying persons at risk: multicenter case-control study of the Central Malignant Melanoma Registry of the German Dermatological Society
Journal of Investigative Dermatology
Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't --- Old month value: May
Different pigmentary characteristics as well as different parameters of sun exposure have previously been identified as risk factors for developing cutaneous melanoma. The aim of the present study was to identify significant risk factors, determine the related magnitude of their estimated relative risks, and define criteria for the detection of persons at risk. Five hundred thirteen melanoma patients and 498 controls matched for age and sex underwent a whole-body examination for the number and type of melanocytic lesions and were interviewed on ultraviolet exposure and other potential risk factors. The total number of common melanocytic nevi on all body sites represented the most important risk factor in multiple logistic regression analysis with a relative risk of 7.6 for subjects with more than 100 versus no more than 10 melanocytic nevi. Other significant independent risk factors were the number of atypical melanocytic nevi (relative risk, 6.1 for at least 5 melanocytic nevi versus none), the number of actinic lentigines (relative risk, 3.5 for many versus none), hair color, skin type, and reported melanocytic nevus growth. No single parameter of sun exposure was significantly related to melanoma risk in the multivariate analysis. Groups with an estimated relative risk between 1 and 121.0 were distinguished by considering common and atypical melanocytic nevi as well as actinic lentigines as the decisive criteria. In conclusion, even without any information on the case history, whole-body examination and diagnosis of pigmented lesions was found to be an effective strategy for identifying persons at risk of developing melanoma. Furthermore, clinical recognition of at least 5 atypical melanocytic nevi without histologic examination is a key for identifying subjects at high risk.
Adult Aged Case-Control Studies Female Humans Male Melanoma/*epidemiology Middle Aged Multicenter Studies Regression Analysis Risk Factors Skin Neoplasms/*epidemiology
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