University of Oulu

Sinikumpu, SP., Jokelainen, J., Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi, S. et al. Skin cancers and their risk factors in older persons: a population-based study. BMC Geriatr 22, 269 (2022).

Skin cancers and their risk factors in older persons : a population-based study

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Author: Sinikumpu, Suvi-Päivikki1,2; Jokelainen, Jari3; Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi, Sirkka4,5;
Organizations: 1Department of Dermatology, Oulu University Hospital, P.B.20, FIN-90029 OYS, Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center, PEDEGO Research Group, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Northern Finland Birth Cohorts, Arctic Biobank, Infrastructure for Population Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Center for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Healthcare and Social Services of Selänne, Pyhäjärvi, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-09-19


Background: The number of skin cancer is increasing rapidly. However, little is known about the risk factors of skin cancer in older persons. Our objectives were to determine the risk factors for skin cancer or its precursors in an older population. More specifically, to study the association of new skin cancers with previous skin cancer, sex, age, Fitzpatrick’s skin type, history of outdoor work and socioeconomic status (SES).

Methods: In this retrospective cross-sectional study of a large, well documented historical cohort data set a total body skin examination (TBSE) was performed for 552 participants aged between 70 and 93 years by dermatologists. The information gathered was augmented with health register data and self-reported data. The associations between skin cancer and its risk factors were studied by using the logistic regression analyses.

Results: According to the TBSE skin cancer/precursor was present in 25.5% of participants and was more common in males than in females (34.5% vs 20.2%, p < 0.001). Previous skin cancer increased the risk of subsequent skin cancer 2.6-fold (OR 2.56, 95% CI 1.43–4.55) and male sex nearly 2-fold (1.97, 95% CI 1.26–3.08). Specific risk factors for the first occurrence of skin cancer were male sex and outdoor work. There was also association between skin cancer and age and socioeconomic status.

Conclusions: TBSE is recommend for physicians treating older persons to allow early recognition of skin cancers or their precursors. Older males need particularly close attention.

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Series: BMC geriatrics
ISSN: 1471-2318
ISSN-E: 1471-2318
ISSN-L: 1471-2318
Volume: 22
Issue: 1
Article number: 269
DOI: 10.1186/s12877-022-02964-1
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3122 Cancers
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