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Risk for Skin Cancer Higher for Adults With Atopic Dermatitis

Significantly increased risk seen for adults with moderate-to-severe versus mild atopic dermatitis

By Elana Gotkine (HealthDay News) | March 27, 2023

Adults with atopic dermatitis (AD) have an increased risk for developing melanoma, basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), with significantly higher risks seen for moderate-to-severe versus mild AD, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, held from March 17 to 21 in New Orleans.

Margaret Y. Huang, from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues examined the risk for developing melanoma, SCC, and BCC among adults with AD in a retrospective cohort study using a claims database for 2007 to 2021. Data were included for 60 million adults aged 18 years or older with and without a diagnosis of AD who subsequently developed melanoma, SCC, or BCC.

The researchers found that adults with AD had significantly higher risks for developing melanoma, SCC, and BCC compared with those without AD (relative risks 1.23, 1.27, and 1.28, respectively) after adjustment for confounding variables. Adults with moderate-to-severe AD had a significantly higher risk for developing melanoma, SCC, and BCC compared with those with mild AD (relative risks, 1.11, 1.25, and 1.17, respectively).

"In conclusion, our findings support an increased risk of melanoma, SCC, and BCC development in adult patients with AD regardless of AD severity," the authors write. "More mechanistic studies are necessary to understand AD and the development of skin cancers."


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