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Cutaneous Nevi and Risk of Melanoma Examined

J Am Acad Dermatol; ePub 2019 Jan 10; Li, et al

Increased number of cutaneous nevi was significantly associated with melanoma death, a recent study found. Therefore, high nevi count may serve as an independent prognostic factor, which predicts the risk of melanoma death particularly among male melanoma cases. This study was based on the Nurses’ Health Study (n=77,288 women) and Health Professionals Follow-up Study (n=32,455 men). Number of moles with ≥3 mm diameter on the upper extremity was ascertained in 1986 and was re-classified into 3 categories (none, 1-2, or ≥3) based on data distribution. Researchers found:

  • During follow-up (1986-2012), 2,452 melanoma cases were pathologically confirmed, among those 196 deaths due to melanoma.
  • Increased number of nevi was associated with melanoma death; the hazard ratio (HR) for ≥3 nevi compared with no nevi was 2.49 for women and 3.97 for men.
  • Among melanoma cases, increased number of nevi was associated with melanoma death in men (≥3 nevi: HR=1.89), but not in women.
  • Similarly, number of nevi was positively associated with Breslow thickness in men only.


Li W-Q, Cho E, Weinstock MA, Li S, Stampfer MJ, Qureshi AA. Cutaneous nevi and risk of melanoma death in women and men: A prospective study. [Published online ahead of print January 10, 2019]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2018.12.058.