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Arch Dermatol. 1990 Jun;126(6):770-6.

Suntan, sunburn, and pigmentation factors and the frequency of acquired melanocytic nevi in children. Similarities to melanoma: the Vancouver Mole Study.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology, Cancer Control Agency of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


The association between prevalence of benign melanocytic nevi and a number of skin cancer risk factors was examined among 913 white Vancouver (Canada) school children aged 6 to 18 years. Subjects with light skin, with a propensity to burn rather than tan in the sun, and with numerous or severe sunburns in the previous 5 years had significantly higher nevus counts than individuals without these characteristics. Subjects who acquired deeper tans tended to have fewer nevi than those who did not tan. Finally, children who freckled had higher nevus counts than those who did not freckle. These findings in children are similar to those seen in studies of malignant melanoma among adults and suggest that strategies to reduce melanoma incidence should begin with young children.

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