Height, nevus count, and risk of cutaneous malignant melanoma: Results from 2 large cohorts of US women

Xin Li, Peter Kraft, Immaculata De Vivo, Edward Giovannucci, Liming Liang, Hongmei Nan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Taller individuals are at higher risk of melanoma. Objective: To prospectively investigate the association of height with nevus count and melanoma and estimate the proportion of height-melanoma association explained by nevus count among white participants from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and Nurses' Health Study 2 (NHS2). Methods: We used Cox proportional hazards regression and multinomial logistic regression for data analyses, with adjustment of potential confounders in the multivariate model. Results: We included 82,468 and 106,069 women from NHS and NHS2, respectively. The hazard ratio was 1.21 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.12-1.31) for the association between every 10-cm increase in height and melanoma. Compared with women with no nevi, the odds ratios (95% CIs) associated with a 10-cm increase in height were 1.35 (95% CI 1.23-1.48) in the NHS and 1.12 (95% CI 1.09-1.15) in the NHS2 for women with greater than or equal to 10 moles. The proportion of excess melanoma risk associated with each 10-cm increase in height explained by nevus count was 8.03% in the NHS and 10.22% in the NHS2. Limitation: Self-reported height and nevus count. Mole counts were limited to 1 arm or both legs. Conclusion: Nevus count is an important explanatory factor for the excess risk of melanoma among taller white women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • cutaneous melanoma
  • height
  • nevus count
  • prospective cohorts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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