Sun exposure prior to diagnosis is associated with improved survival in melanoma patients: results from a long-term follow-up study of Italian patients

Eur J Cancer. 2008 Jun;44(9):1275-81. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2008.03.009. Epub 2008 Apr 10.


We followed up 260 melanoma patients included in a population-based case-control study in Turin, Italy. We collected information on host factors and sun exposure history, and analysed their relative survival. Intermittent sun exposure was inversely associated with the risk of death (hazard ratios, HR=0.41 95% confidence interval, CI=0.17-0.98). Outdoor work was not associated with an increased risk of death. Multivariate models including anatomic site, melanoma thickness and histology, showed that intermittent sun exposure had a tendency to be inversely associated with the risk of death from melanoma with a HR of 0.60 (95%CI=0.24-1.5) in the patients with 1 to 59 weeks and a HR of 0.54 (95%CI=0.23-1.2) in patients with more than 60 weeks spent on the beach during their lifetime. This study, with similar methods and a longer follow-up, confirms the finding that sun exposure prior to diagnosis of melanoma is associated with improved survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Melanoma / mortality*
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Distribution
  • Skin Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Sunlight*