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J Invest Dermatol. 1994 May;102(5):700-5.

Associated factors in the prevalence of more than 50 common melanocytic nevi, atypical melanocytic nevi, and actinic lentigines: multicenter case-control study of the Central Malignant Melanoma Registry of the German Dermatological Society.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Steglitz, Free University of Berlin, Germany.


Several case-control studies identified common and atypical melanocytic nevi as major risk indicators for the development of cutaneous melanoma. The present investigation was planned to detect factors associated with the prevalence of these melanoma risk markers. Whole-body examination findings and interview data of 513 melanoma patients and 498 age- and sex-matched control subjects were analyzed. Existence of more than 50 common melanocytic nevi and the presence of atypical melanocytic nevi were significantly related to age and gender, with significantly elevated relative risk for their prevalence before the age of 60 and in males. Additionally, sunburns before the age of 20 were significantly associated with both more than 50 common melanocytic nevi (relative risk = 1.7) and the presence of atypical melanocytic nevi (relative risk = 1.5). Actinic lentigines were found more frequently with increasing age, and the presence of actinic lentigines was significantly related to a tendency of freckling in adolescence (relative risk = 2.0) and to two or more sunburns after the age of 20 (relative risk = 1.6). In conclusion, sunburns before the age of 20 contribute to the development of multiple melanocytic nevi and atypical melanocytic nevi. In adulthood, this type of sun exposure is associated with the development of actinic lentigines. The relative risk of developing cutaneous melanoma increases in association with the development of these benign melanocytic lesions.

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