Risk factors of incident melanocytic nevi: a longitudinal study in a cohort of 1,232 young German children.

Department of Dermatology, Eberhard-Karls-University, Tübingen, Germany.
International Journal of Cancer (Impact Factor: 5.01). 05/2005; 115(1):121-6. DOI: 10.1002/ijc.20812
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The number of melanocytic nevi is the most important independent risk factor for cutaneous melanoma. Aim of our study was to add information to the controversial discussion on the role of chronic-moderate and intermittent-high sun exposure and sunburns for the development of melanocytic nevi by the use of a large longitudinal study. A longitudinal study with a 3-year follow-up was conducted in 1,232 young children 2-7 years of age attending 78 public nursery schools in Bochum and Stuttgart, Germany. Total body nevus counts, assessment of pigmentary features and nevus counts on arms of parents were carried out. Parents underwent a standardized interview concerning sun exposure, sunburns and sun-protective behavior. Applying multiple linear regression analysis higher numbers of incident nevi were associated with host factors like light skin complexion (skin Type II vs. IV, p = 0.022) and freckling of the face (p < 0.001), with parental factors like nevus counts on mothers' (p < 0.001) and fathers' (p = 0.004) arms and at least one parent being of German descent (p = 0.006), and with environmental factors like intermittent-high sun exposure during holidays (p < 0.001) and chronic-moderate ultraviolet radiation at home (p = 0.007). Sunburns were a significant risk factor for nevus development (p = 0.005). Total cumulative sun exposure seems to be the crucial environmental risk factor for the development of nevi, whether the child is exposed to chronic-moderate or intermittent-high ultraviolet light doses. Public health education should focus primarily on avoiding sun exposure especially in children with fair skin and parents with high nevus counts.

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    ABSTRACT: Neonatal blue light phototherapy (NBLP) is an effective treatment for hyperbilirubinaemia. Concerning the influence on melanocytic nevi, conflicting studies have been published. To assess the role of NBLP according to the incidence of melanocytic nevi in preschool children, a cohort of 104 5- to 6-year-old children were included. The case group consisted of 52 NBLP-exposed children, while the control group (n = 52) never had NBLP and was matched regarding age, gender, gestational age and skin phototype. Six dizygotic twins were included with one twin having received NBLP, respectively. The following parameters were recorded: nevi count, presence of freckles, café-au-lait macules, skin phototype and previous history of sun exposure. There was no significant association between nevi count and exposure to NBLP (median nevi count 17.0 compared to 18.5 in controls). No significant difference was also found in the dizygotic twin pairs with a median nevi count of 10.0 (with NBLP) compared to 14.5 (without NBLP). However, a significantly higher prevalence of café-au-lait macules was found in children with NBLP (mean count 0.5) than in children without NBLP (mean count 0.2; p = 0.001). Significant predictors for the number of melanocytic nevi included skin phototype, sun exposure and vacations in the South. Conclusion: In this study, NBLP had no significant influence on the development of melanocytic nevi, but on café-au-lait macules which was a new finding. Differences with comparable studies regarding age, differentiation between nevi and other pigmented lesions as well as dose and type of NBLP need to be taken into account for further investigations.
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