Cutaneous malignant melanoma: association with height, weight and body-surface area. a prospective study in Norway

Int J Cancer. 1993 Oct 21;55(4):555-61. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910550406.


To investigate whether anthropometric indices as body height, body-mass index (BMI) and body-surface area (BSA) have any influence on the risk of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM), we analyzed height and weight data from a Norwegian screening survey running between 1963 and 1975 and comprising 1.3 million individuals followed for 14 to 26 years. Among females, CMM was diagnosed in 2814 incident cases, while the number among males was 2144 during 22,988,345 person-years of follow-up. With adjustment for age, birth cohort, geographic region and BMI, the risk for CMM increased significantly with increasing quintiles of height in both sexes. The tallest persons were at greater relative risk than the shortest ones: 1.60 and 1.59 in males and females respectively. This positive association was also found for CMM localized on face and trunk in both sexes, and in the lower limbs only in females. Males in the highest quintile of BMI had a relative risk for CMM of 1.26 compared with the lowest quintile, while a non-significant negative association were found in obese females. This negative association increased and was significant for CMM located on the trunk and lower limbs in females. Among males we observed a consistent association between BSA and risk of CMM similar to that for height. These relationships between anthropometric indices and CMM are discussed according to factors which promote growth, among which nutrition, social class and hormones are the most important.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Height
  • Body Surface Area
  • Body Weight
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology*