Clinical Characteristics in Early Childhood Associated with a Nevus-Prone Phenotype in Adults from Tropical Australia: Two Decades of Follow-Up of the Townsville Preschool Cohort Study

Ramez Barsoum, Simone L. Harrison
2020 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  
Having numerous melanocytic nevi increases melanoma risk. Few studies have enumerated nevi in children and re-examined them as adults. We aimed to determine if childhood nevus-counts predict nevus-prone adults, and further explore the relevance of host-factors and sun-exposure. Fifty-one Caucasian residents of Townsville (19.16° S, Queensland, Australia) had full-body nevus-counts aged 1–6 and 21–31 years-old. Sun-exposure was determined from questionnaires. Children in the upper-quartile of
more » ... us-counts acquired nevi more rapidly than those in the bottom-quartile (13.3 versus 4.7 nevi/year; p < 0.0005). Children sunburnt before 7 years-old acquired more incident nevi by adulthood (238 versus 126, p = 0.003) particularly if sunburn was severe (321 versus 157.5, p = 0.003) or erythema occurred annually (380 versus 132, p = 0.008). Fair-skinned, freckled children with some nevi ≥ 3 mm, solar lentigines, or a family history of melanoma acquired more incident nevi than children without these attributes. Nevus-prone adults exhibit distinguishing features earlier in life (<7 years-old in Queensland) than has been shown previously. In addition to intervening with sun-protection counselling early enough to reduce risk, being able to reliably triage children into high- and low melanoma-risk groups may inform more efficacious and cost-effective targeted-screening in melanoma-prone populations. Further longitudinal research is needed to confirm that these attributes can reliably separate risk-groups.
doi:10.3390/ijerph17228680 pmid:33238422 fatcat:zumk5f4bazeoxir7cjbuzyqryy