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UV Exposure Not Linked to Risk for Melanoma in Skin of Color

THURSDAY, Dec. 17, 2020 -- Among people with skin of color, ultraviolet (UV) exposure may not be an important risk factor for melanoma, according to a review published online Dec. 16 in JAMA Dermatology.

Fabiana C.P.S. Lopes, M.D., from the University of Texas at Austin, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to critically assess and synthesize published data relating to the association between UV exposure and risk for cutaneous melanoma in skin of color. Thirteen studies met the inclusion criteria: seven ecological studies, five cohort studies, and one case-control study. Skin of color was defined broadly as any race/ethnicity other than non-Hispanic White.

More than 7,700 melanomas were included in skin of color. The researchers found that in 11 of the studies, there was no association reported between UV exposure and melanoma in skin of color. A small positive association was seen for Black men in one study, and a weak association for Hispanic men was seen in another study. The studies were all moderate-to-low quality.

"Findings of the present study show that the evidence is of moderate-to-low quality; nevertheless, current guidelines suggesting photoprotection for melanoma prevention in skin of color are not supported by the current literature," the authors write. "Research to elucidate melanoma risk factors in populations with skin of color should be sought to improve outcomes and reduce associated health disparities."

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Posted: December 2020

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