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Br J Cancer. 1996 May;73(9):1126-31.

Risk of malignant melanoma in relation to drug intake, alcohol, smoking and hormonal factors.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


In a population-based, matched case-control study from southern Sweden of 400 patients with a first diagnosis of malignant melanoma and 640 healthy control subjects aged 15-75 years, the association between commonly prescribed drugs, alcohol, smoking and malignant melanoma was evaluated. In addition, the relation between reproductive and hormonal factors and melanoma in women was studied. It was found that certain specific types of prescribed drugs, i.e. beta-blockers, hydralazines and benzodiazepines, may increase the risk of melanoma development. However, these associations were diminished, at least for benzodiazepines, after controlling for host factors. As these findings are unconfirmed, and may be due to chance or confounding, further studies are warranted. The risk of malignant melanoma was not influenced by alcohol consumption or smoking habits. Our results do not suggest an association between oral contraceptives and melanoma. Furthermore, reproductive factors were not independent risk factors for melanoma. However, increasing number of live births seemed to be protective (P for trend = 0.01). There is a need for further research to be able to draw firm conclusions on the relation between number of live births and melanoma. The results based on histopathological re-examinations and those based on tumour registry data were essentially the same.

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