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Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2003 Dec;10(5):293-302.

Phenotypical characteristics, lifestyle, social class and uveal melanoma.

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  • 1Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry & Epidemiology, Medical Faculty, University of Essen, Germany.



To investigate potential risk factors of uveal melanoma, including phenotypical characteristics, eye burns, social class, smoking and alcohol consumption.


A hospital-based and population-based case-control study of uveal melanoma was carried out from 1995 through 1998 and the results pooled. A total of 118 patients (59 men and 59 women) with uveal melanoma and 475 controls matching on sex, age and study regions were interviewed. Conditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).


There was an elevated risk for blue or grey iris color (OR = 3.0, 95% CI 1.5-6.0). Red or blond hair color at age 20 was slightly associated with an increased risk for uveal melanoma (OR = 1.5, 95% CI 0.9-2.4). There was no elevated risk for a history of eye burns (OR = 1.1, 95% CI 0.5-2.4).


Among the potential risk factors studied, only the phenotypical characteristics showed an association with the risk of uveal melanoma.

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