Metabolic risk factors and skin cancer in the Metabolic Syndrome and Cancer Project (Me-Can).

G Nagel, T Bjørge, T Stocks, Jonas Manjer, G Hallmans, M Edlinger, C Häggström, A Engeland, Dorthe Johansen, A Kleiner, R Selmer, H Ulmer, S Tretli, H Jonsson, H Concin, P Stattin, A Lukanova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Little is known about the associations of metabolic aberrations with malignant melanoma (MM) and nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC).

Objectives: To assess the associations between metabolic factors (both individually and combined) and the risk of skin cancer in the large prospective Metabolic Syndrome and Cancer Project (Me-Can).

Methods: During a mean follow-up of 12 years of the Me-Can cohort, 1728 (41% women) incident MM, 230 (23% women) fatal MM and 1145 (33% women) NMSC were identified. Most NMSC cases (76%) were squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (873, 33% women). Hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated by Cox proportional hazards regression for quintiles and standardized z-scores (with a mean of 0 and SD of 1) of body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides and for a combined metabolic syndrome score. Risk estimates were corrected for random error in the measurements.

Results: Blood pressure per unit increase of z-score was associated with an increased risk of incident MM cases in men and women [HR 1·17, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·04-1·31 and HR 1·18, 95% CI 1·03-1·36, respectively] and fatal MM cases among women (HR 2·39, 95% CI 1·58-3·64). In men, all quintiles for BMI above the reference were associated with a higher risk of incident MM. In women, SCC NMSC risk increased across quintiles for glucose levels (P-trend 0·02) and there was a trend with triglyceride concentration (P-trend 0·09).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that mechanisms linked to blood pressure may be involved in the pathogenesis of MM. SCC NMSC in women could be related to glucose and lipid metabolism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-67
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Dermatology and Venereal Diseases


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