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

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zhang, M; Qureshi, AA; Fortner, RT; Hankinson, SE; Wei, Q; Wang, L-E; Eliassen, AH; Willett, WC; Hunter, DJ; Han, J

Published Date

  • May 15, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 121 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1681 - 1687

PubMed ID

  • 25572604

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4424088

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-0142

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/cncr.29216


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States