Teenage acne and cancer risk in US women: A prospective cohort study

Mingfeng Zhang, Abrar A. Qureshi, Renée T. Fortner, Susan E. Hankinson, Qingyi Wei, Li E. Wang, A. Heather Eliassen, Walter C. Willett, David J. Hunter, Jiali Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND Acne reflects hormone imbalance and is a key component of several systemic diseases. We hypothesized that diagnosis of acne as a teenager might predict subsequent risk of hormone-related cancers. METHODS We followed 99,128 female nurses in the Nurses' Health Study II cohort for 20 years (1989-2009) and used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate the hazard ratios (HRs) of 8 specific cancers (breast, thyroid, colorectal, ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancers, melanoma, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma) for women with a history of severe teenage acne. RESULTS After thoroughly adjusting for the previously known risk factors for each cancer, we found that among women with a history of severe teenage acne, the relative risk increased, with a multivariable-adjusted HR of 1.44 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-2.01) for melanoma. We replicated this association in an independent melanoma case-control study of 930 cases and 1026 controls (multivariable-adjusted odds ratio, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.03-1.56). We also found that in both studies the individuals with teenage acne were more likely to have moles (52.7% vs 50.1%, P < .001 in the cohort study; and 55.2% vs 45.1%, P = .004 in the case-control study). CONCLUSIONS Our findings suggest that a history of teenage acne might be a novel risk factor for melanoma independent from the known factors, which supports a need for continued investigation of these relationships. Cancer 2015;121:1681-1687.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1681-1687
Number of pages7
JournalCancer
Volume121
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Keywords

  • acne
  • androgen
  • cancer
  • melanoma
  • mole
  • telomere length

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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    Zhang, M., Qureshi, A. A., Fortner, R. T., Hankinson, S. E., Wei, Q., Wang, L. E., Eliassen, A. H., Willett, W. C., Hunter, D. J., & Han, J. (2015). Teenage acne and cancer risk in US women: A prospective cohort study. Cancer, 121(10), 1681-1687. https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.29216