Height, height-related SNPs, and risk of non-melanoma skin cancer

Xin Li, Liming Liang, Yen Chen Anne Feng, Immaculata De Vivo, Edward Giovannucci, Jean Y. Tang, Jiali Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background:Adult height has been associated with risk of several site-specific cancers, including melanoma. However, less attention has been given to non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC).Methods:We prospectively examined the risk of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in relation to adult height in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS, n=117 863) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS, n=51 111). We also investigated the relationships between height-related genetic markers and risk of BCC and SCC in the genetic data sets of the NHS and HPFS (3898 BCC cases, and 8530 BCC controls; 527 SCC cases, and 8962 SCC controls).Results:After controlling for potential confounding factors, the hazard ratios were 1.09 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.15) and 1.10 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.13) for the associations between every 10 cm increase in height and risk of SCC and BCC respectively. None of the 687 height-related single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was significantly associated with the risk of SCC or BCC, nor were the genetic scores combining independent height-related loci.Conclusions:Our data from two large cohorts provide further evidence that height is associated with an increased risk of NMSC. More studies on height-related genetic loci and early-life exposures may help clarify the underlying mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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    Li, X., Liang, L., Feng, Y. C. A., De Vivo, I., Giovannucci, E., Tang, J. Y., & Han, J. (2017). Height, height-related SNPs, and risk of non-melanoma skin cancer. British Journal of Cancer, 116(1), 134-140. https://doi.org/10.1038/bjc.2016.366