Background: Recent reports have shown that telomere length was associated with the risk of various cancers, but the results have been inconsistent. Methods: We prospectively evaluated the association of telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes with the risk of skin squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in 241 cases and 241 controls within the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS), and the risk of skin basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in 623 cases and 1,943 controls within the Nurses' Health Study (NHS). Results: No significant association was observed between telomere length and risk of SCC (longest quartile vs. shortest quartile, OR = 1.09, 95%CI: 0.62-1.93, P = 0.81). Null findings were also observed between telomere length and risk of BCC in 2 independent sets (OR = 0.96, 95%CI: 0.49-1.87, P = 0.83; and OR = 0.91, 95%CI: 0.66-1.25, P = 0.39). Conclusion: We found no evidence that telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes was associated with risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Impact: Our prospective study suggests that telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes is less likely to play a substantial role in nonmelanoma skin cancer development.
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