Interaction between gender and UVI found to be age-dependent

January 18, 2018



UV exposure may not equally impact melanoma development in different sexes and ages. Whether and how these factors interact with each other in melanoma risk is unknown.


This study attempts to estimate interactions among UVI, sex and age in melanoma risk.


Melanoma incidence data was collected from 42 cancer registries. Geographical UV index (UVI) was collected from local satellite stations. Negative binomial regression models were used to estimate the impact of each risk factor and their interactions.


Sex, UVI and age, as well as interactions between any two of these factors were significantly associated with melanoma risk. In younger age groups, the female sex is an independent risk factor for melanoma that is not impacted by ambient UV exposure. In older age groups, however, the female sex interacts with UV exposure as a risk factor, exhibiting a protective effect. The switching age category is 45-49, which correlates with dramatic hormonal changes.


The interaction between sex and UVI is measured at an ecological level.


The interaction between sex and UVI is age-dependent. The female sex is an independent risk factor for early onset melanoma, but the female sex also protects against UV-associated melanoma in older age groups.


Liu-Smith, F and Ziogas, A. An age-dependent interaction between sex and geographical UV index in melanoma risk.  J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Dec 2. pii: S0190-9622(17)32748-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2017.11.049. [Epub ahead of print] 

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