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December 13, 2000

Efficacy of Sunscreen in Preventing Nevi

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Executive Deputy EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;284(22):2870. doi:10.1001/jama.284.22.2869

To the Editor: Dr Gallagher and colleagues1 found that broad-spectrum sunscreen attenuated the development of nevi in children. However, their analysis may significantly underestimate the benefits of broad-spectrum sunscreen because only an intent-to-treat analysis was performed in this randomized trial. Table 3 of their article illustrates that the median reported protected episodes (with sunscreen) in the control group were almost 90% of those reported in the intervention group. Gallagher et al essentially report the relative effectiveness of consistent broad-spectrum sunscreen use compared with a control group derived from a community with an already high prevalence of sunscreen use. However, it would be of more interest to estimate the efficacy of sunscreen use as a protective factor relative to no sunscreen use.

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