Level of education and the risk of malignant melanoma

Peter Y. Lee, Mark K. Silverman, Darrell S. Rigel, Katrien A. Vossaert, Alfred W. Kopf, Robert S. Bart, Lawrence Garfinkel, Marcia J. Levenstein

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29 Scopus citations


Background: The risk for the development of malignant melanoma has been reported to be higher in persons with more formal education than in individuals with less. Objective: To study whether those with more formal education are indeed at more risk for malignant melanoma than those with less formal education. Methods: This case-control study explores the relation between education and melanoma risk by analyzing data collected by the American Cancer Society. A total of 1.2 million people were surveyed for a history of cancer and followed up for 6 years for the development of any cancer. In total, 2780 white persons had a history of malignant melanoma or developed malignant melanoma during the study period. The controls were age-, sex-, and geographically matched white persons selected from the remaining people enrolled. Results: Both men and women were shown to have a statistically significant increase in the relative risk for malignant melanoma with increasing education level (p < 0.001 and p = 0.001, respectively). This relation was more striking in men when the relative risk with 95% confidence interval was calculated by sex for each education level. Conclusion: Americans with more formal education are at greater risk for malignant melanoma than those with less education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-63
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


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