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Study
May 2005

The Prevalence of Common Acquired Melanocytic Nevi and the Relationship With Skin Type Characteristics and Sun Exposure Among Children in Lithuania

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Clinic of Skin and Venereal Diseases (Dr Valiukeviciene) and Institute for Biomedical Research (Dr Miseviciene), Kaunas University of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania; and Clinic of Dermatology and Venereology, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany (Dr Gollnick).

Arch Dermatol. 2005;141(5):579-586. doi:10.1001/archderm.141.5.579
Abstract

Objective  To evaluate the prevalence of common acquired melanocytic nevi and its relationship with pigmentary characteristics and severe sunburns in children.

Design  Cross-sectional study.

Setting  Kaunas city, Lithuania (latitude of 55° 55 minutes).

Patients  A random sample of 484 children aged 1 to 2 years, 4 to 5 years, and 9 to 10 years and adolescents aged 14 to 15 years.

Interventions  A questionnaire that provided information about the history of sunbathing and skin type.

Main Outcome Measures  Atypical melanocytic nevi were defined according to the clinical criteria of the ABCDE rule.

Results  The median number of all common acquired melanocytic nevi was 12 in boys and 11 in girls; the median number of melanocytic nevi 2 mm or larger in boys and girls was 4. Twenty-seven percent of children experienced severe sunburns more than once. After adjustment for age and sex, it was found that children who had severe sunburns in summer and skin type I had a higher density of all melanocytic nevi and melanocytic nevi 2 mm or larger. The prevalence of atypical melanocytic nevi was 7% in all children and was age dependent (age 4-5 years, 1%; 9-10 years, 4%; 14-15 years, 16%). Three percent of children had congenital melanocytic nevi.

Conclusions  The total number of common acquired melanocytic nevi in children increased with age. There was a positive association between severe sunburns, the tendency of the skin to burn, and the number of all melanocytic nevi and nevi 2 mm or larger.

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