Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor
Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999
To the Editor: Melanoma incidence is increasing
faster than any other cancer in the United States, with an estimated 41,600
new melanoma cases diagnosed in 1998.1 The
increase may be explained by lifestyle changes to sun exposure in subsequent
generations that affect each generation throughout their life. Such generation
or birth-cohort trends have been observed for melanoma.2
The associations between melanoma and childhood migration to sunny areas,
childhood sunburns, and increased nevi support the importance of exposure
early in life. However, it is unclear how birth-cohort trends affect the age-specific
incidence rates of melanoma. Dermatologic textbooks3,4
often report that melanoma rates increase into middle age and then level off.
However, melanoma rates would be expected to increase with age due to cumulative
effects on the immune system and damage due to UV exposure. In an attempt
to better understand melanoma incidence by age, we compared the crude incidence
of melanoma with incidence adjusted for birth-cohort effects.
Dennis LK. Increasing Risk of Melanoma With Increasing Age. JAMA. 1999;282(11):1037-1038. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-11-jac90008