Factors Associated with Atypical Moles in New Hampshire, USA
Linda Titus-Ernstoff, Jiao Ding, Ann E. Perry, Steven K. Spencer, Bernard F. Cole and Marc S. Ernstoff
Only a few studies, conducted in Sweden, assessed factors associated with the presence of atypical moles in the general population. We conducted a population-based, case-control study in New Hampshire, USA, to identify factors associated with atypical moles. In our study, atypical moles affected 14% of the study population. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) was 0.34 (95% confidence interval (CI)=0.14-0.80) for those with the highest adulthood recreational sun exposure, relative to the lowest. The OR for any freckles, compared to none, was 2.24 (95% CI=1.18-4.25). We found a linear relationship between the number of benign moles and the presence of atypical moles (p for trend=0.0001). The OR was 7.34 (95% CI=3.03-17.80) for >15 benign moles, relative to 0-4. Our data indicate that freckles and benign moles, which may reflect melanocytic inducibility, are strongly associated with atypical moles. The inverse association with sun exposure should be considered with caution.