Factors associated with atypical moles in New Hampshire, USA

Acta Derm Venereol. 2007;87(1):43-8. doi: 10.2340/00015555-0192.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nevus / epidemiology*
  • New Hampshire / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology*