Associations of cumulative sun exposure and phenotypic characteristics with histologic solar elastosis

Nancy E. Thomas, Anne Kricker, Lynn From, Klaus Busam, Robert C. Millikan, Mary E. Ritchey, Bruce K. Armstrong, Julia Lee-Taylor, Loraine D. Marrett, Hoda Anton-Culver, Roberto Zanetti, Stefano Rosso, Richard P. Gallagher, Terence Dwyer, Chris Goumas, Peter A. Kanetsky, Colin B. Begg, Irene Orlow, Homer Wilcox, Susan PaineMarianne Berwick, Urvi Mujumdar, Amanda J. Hummer, Nandita Mitra, Pampa Roy, Rebecca Canchola, Brian Clas, Javier Cotignola, Yvette Monroe, Melisa Litchfield, Paul Tucker, Nicola Stephens, Teresa Switzer, Elizabeth Theis, Noori Chowdhury, Louise Vanasse, Mark Purdue, David Northrup, Carlotta Sacerdote, Nancy Leighton, Maureen Gildea, Stephen B. Gruber, Joe Bonner, Joanne Jeter, Judith Klotz, Helen Weiss, Dianne Mattingly, Jon Player, Chiu Kit Tse, Timothy R. Rebbeck, Peter Kanetsky, Amy Walker, Saarene Panossian, Harvey Mohrenweiser, Richard Setlow, Julia Lee Taylor, Sasha Madronich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background: Solar elastosis adjacent to melanomas in histologic sections is regarded as an indicator of sun exposure, although the associations of UV exposure and phenotype with solar elastosis are yet to be fully explored. Methods: The study included 2,589 incident primary melanoma patients with assessment of histologic solar elastosis in the population-based Genes, Environment, and Melanoma study. Ambient erythemal UV (UVE) at places of residence and sun exposure hours, including body site-specific exposure, were collected. We examined the association of cumulative site-specific and non-site-specific sun exposure hours and ambient UVE with solar elastosis in multivariable models adjusted for age, sex, center, pigmentary characteristics, nevi, and, where relevant, body site. Results: Solar elastosis was associated most strongly with site-specific UVE [odds ratio (OR) for top exposure quartile, 5.20; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 3.40-7.96; P for trend <0.001] and also with site-specific sun exposure (OR for top quartile, 5.12; 95% CI, 3.35-7.83; P for trend <0.001). Older age (OR at >70 years, 7.69; 95% CI, 5.14-11.52; P for trend < 0.001) and having more than 10 back nevi (OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.61-0.97; P = 0.03) were independently associated with solar elastosis. Conclusion: Solar elastosis had a strong association with higher site-specific UVE dose, older age, and fewer nevi. Impact: Solar elastosis could be a useful biomarker of lifetime site-specific UV. Future research is needed to explore whether age represents more than simple accumulation of sun exposure and to determine why people with more nevi may be less prone to solar elastosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2932-2941
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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