Malignant melanoma (MM) is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. Adult anthropometry influences MM development; however, associations between childhood body size and future melanomagenesis are largely unknown. We investigated whether height, body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/height (m)2), and body surface area (BSA) at ages 7-13 years and birth weight are associated with adult MM. Data from the Copenhagen School Health Records Register, containing annual height and weight measurements of 372,636 Danish children born in 1930-1989, were linked with the Danish Cancer Registry. Cox regression analyses were performed. During follow-up, 2,329 MM cases occurred. Height at ages 7-13 years was significantly associated with MM, even after BMI and BSA adjustments. No significant BMI-MM or BSA-MM associations were detected when adjusting for height. Children who were persistently tall at both age 7 years and age 13 years had a significantly increased MM risk compared with children who grew taller between those ages. Birth weight was positively associated with MM. We conclude that associations between body size and MM originate early in life and are driven largely by height and birth weight, without any comparable influence of BMI or BSA. Melanoma transformation is unlikely to be due to height per se; however, height-regulating processes in childhood present new areas for mechanistic explorations of this disease.
Cites: Int J Cancer. 1997 May 16;71(4):600-49178814
Cites: Int J Cancer. 2005 Jul 1;115(4):611-715700315
Cites: Ann Epidemiol. 2008 Mar;18(3):214-2118280921
Cites: Int J Epidemiol. 2009 Jun;38(3):656-6218719090