Meta-analysis of risk factors for cutaneous melanoma: III. Family history, actinic damage and phenotypic factors

Eur J Cancer. 2005 Sep;41(14):2040-59. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2005.03.034.


A systematic meta-analysis of observational studies of melanoma and family history, actinic damage and phenotypic factors was conducted as part of a comprehensive meta-analysis of all major risk factors for melanoma. Following a systematic literature search, relative risks were extracted from 60 studies published before September 2002. Fixed and random effects models were used to obtain pooled estimates for family history (RR = 1.74, 1.41-2.14), skin type (I vs. IV: RR = 2.09, 1.67-2.58), high density of freckles (RR = 2.10, 1.80-2.45), skin colour (Fair vs. Dark: RR = 2.06, 1.68-2.52), eye colour (Blue vs. Dark: RR = 1.47, 1.28-1.69) and hair colour (Red vs. Dark: RR = 3.64, 2.56-5.37), pre-malignant and skin cancer lesions (RR = 4.28, 2.80-6.55) and actinic damage indicators (RR = 2.02, 1.24-3.29). Sub-group analysis and meta-regression were carried out to explore sources of between-study variation and bias. Sensitivity analyses investigated reliability of results and publication bias. Latitude and adjustment for phenotype were two study characteristics that significantly influenced the estimates.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Melanoma / genetics*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / etiology
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects