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Cutaneous malignant melanoma incidence is strongly associated with European depigmented skin type regardless of ambient ultraviolet radiation levels: evidence from Worldwide population-based data


You, Wenpeng; Henneberg, Renata; Coventry, Brendon J; Henneberg, Maciej (2022). Cutaneous malignant melanoma incidence is strongly associated with European depigmented skin type regardless of ambient ultraviolet radiation levels: evidence from Worldwide population-based data. AIMS Public Health, 9(2):378-402.

Abstract

Current public health advice is that high ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is the primary cause of Malignant Melanoma of skin (CMM), however, despite the use of sun-blocking products incidence of melanoma is increasing. To investigate the UVR influence on CMM incidence worldwide WHO, United Nations, World Bank databases and literature provided 182 country-specific melanoma incidence estimates, daily UVR levels, skin colour (EEL), socioeconomic status (GDP PPP), magnitude of reduced natural selection (Ibs), ageing, urbanization, percentage of European descendants (Eu%), and depigmentation (blonde hair colour), for parametric and non-parametric correlations, multivariate regressions and analyses of variance. Worldwide, UVR levels showed negative correlation with melanoma incidence ("rho" = -0.515, p < 0.001), remaining significant and negative in parametric partial correlation (r = -0.513, p < 0.001) with other variables kept constant. After standardising melanoma incidence for Eu%, melanoma correlation with UVR disappeared completely ("rho" = 0.004, p = 0.967, n = 127). The results question classical views that UVR causes melanoma. No correlation between UVR level and melanoma incidence was present when Eu% (depigmented or light skin type) was kept statistically constant, even after adjusting for other known variables. Countries with lower UVR levels and more Eu% (depigmented or light skin people) have higher melanoma incidence. Critically, this means that individual genetic low skin pigmentation factors predict melanoma risk regardless of UVR exposure levels, and even at low-UVR levels.

Keywords: UV levels; adaptation; cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM); depigmentation; incidence; world-wide data.

Abstract

Current public health advice is that high ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is the primary cause of Malignant Melanoma of skin (CMM), however, despite the use of sun-blocking products incidence of melanoma is increasing. To investigate the UVR influence on CMM incidence worldwide WHO, United Nations, World Bank databases and literature provided 182 country-specific melanoma incidence estimates, daily UVR levels, skin colour (EEL), socioeconomic status (GDP PPP), magnitude of reduced natural selection (Ibs), ageing, urbanization, percentage of European descendants (Eu%), and depigmentation (blonde hair colour), for parametric and non-parametric correlations, multivariate regressions and analyses of variance. Worldwide, UVR levels showed negative correlation with melanoma incidence ("rho" = -0.515, p < 0.001), remaining significant and negative in parametric partial correlation (r = -0.513, p < 0.001) with other variables kept constant. After standardising melanoma incidence for Eu%, melanoma correlation with UVR disappeared completely ("rho" = 0.004, p = 0.967, n = 127). The results question classical views that UVR causes melanoma. No correlation between UVR level and melanoma incidence was present when Eu% (depigmented or light skin type) was kept statistically constant, even after adjusting for other known variables. Countries with lower UVR levels and more Eu% (depigmented or light skin people) have higher melanoma incidence. Critically, this means that individual genetic low skin pigmentation factors predict melanoma risk regardless of UVR exposure levels, and even at low-UVR levels.

Keywords: UV levels; adaptation; cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM); depigmentation; incidence; world-wide data.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Health Informatics
Health Sciences > Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Medicine
Language:English
Date:1 January 2022
Deposited On:09 Jan 2023 09:32
Last Modified:28 Jun 2024 01:37
Publisher:AIMS Press
ISSN:2327-8994
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3934/publichealth.2022026
PubMed ID:35634021
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)