No association observed between obesity, risk for malignant melanoma

Source:, October 2014

Researchers determined no convincing associations existed between obesity and the risk for malignant melanoma, according to study results published in a letter to the editor of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

The researchers used data from the prospective Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Cohort, which included 57,053 participants enrolled from 1993 to 1997, of whom 26,685 men and 29,243 women were eligible for analysis. Anthropometric data including height, weight, waist circumference and hip circumference were collected at the time of study enrollment.

Using a Cox proportional hazards model, the researchers examined the associations between the anthropometric measures and gender-specific rates of malignant melanoma (MM), basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

The researchers found 357 participants developed MM, 3,465 developed BCC and 341 developed SCC during a median follow-up period of 14.4 years.

Women with a body mass index (BMI) in the highest quartile had a decreased risk for BCC compared with women with a BMI in the lowest quartile, and no association was found between higher BMI and risk for BCC in men, according to the researchers.

Among women, every 2 kg/m2 increase in BMI was associated with a decreased risk for BCC of 0.90.

The researchers concluded that some of this relationship could be based on differences in sun-seeking behavior between thin and obese people.

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