Smoking, immunosuppression tied to greater skin cancer risk in nonwhite persons
While exposure to UV light remains the top risk factor for skin cancer, other variables, such as smoking, immunosuppression and hypertension, also contribute to keratinocyte carcinoma, especially in nonwhite persons, a recent study has found.
Conducting a retrospective chart review, researchers identified 133 patients who had received a biopsy-proven skin cancer diagnosis. All participants identified as nonwhite: 48 were Black (mean age at diagnosis, 66.95±13.09 years; 37.5 percent male), 68 were Hispanic (mean age at diagnosis, 70.12±14.09 years; 45.6 percent male) and 17 were Asian (mean age at diagnosis, 69.60±7.30 years; 64.7 percent male).
Forward stepwise regression analysis showed that smoking, immunosuppression and hypertension were all significantly associated with age at diagnosis (p<0.001). For instance, current smokers received their diagnoses at a significantly younger age than both former and never smokers (60.23±10.72 vs 72.50±10.53 and 69.59±13.67 years; p<0.001 for both).
In absolute terms, current smokers were diagnosed an average of 12.27 and 9.36 years earlier than former and never smokers, respectively.
Similarly, patients who were under immunosuppression were diagnosed with skin cancer at a younger age than their nonimmunosuppressed counterparts (65.21±8.93 vs 69.61±13.64 years; p<0.01).
Hypertension seemed to have the opposite effect, as those with the condition were diagnosed with skin cancer significantly later than normotensive participants (71.25±11.88 vs 61.75±14.52 years; p<0.001).
Race also seemed to be an important factor. Black and Asian participants were significantly more likely to develop squamous than basal cell carcinomas, while both tumour types were comparably likely to occur in Hispanic patients.