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Archives of Public Health

Volume 73 Supplement 1

Methods in Epidemiology Symposium

Open Access

Atopic dermatitis and melanoma: A case-control study

  • Vivien Marasigan1,
  • Marie-Anne Morren1,
  • Julien Lambert2,
  • Karen Medaer3,
  • Steffen Fieuws4 and
  • Marjan Garmyn1
Archives of Public HealthThe official journal of the Belgian Public Health Association201573(Suppl 1):P1

Published: 17 September 2015


Atopic dermatitis (AD) has been linked to fewer nevi which implies a decreased risk for melanoma. Yet scarce studies have been conducted on the association between AD and melanoma.


To analyze the association of AD and melanoma development in a case-control population.


A cohort of cutaneous melanoma patients treated at the Department of Dermatology in University Hospitals Leuven and Antwerp University Hospital in Belgium were included. Cases and randomly selected controls were interviewed. The U.K. Working Party's diagnostic criteria for AD was utilized in the ascertainment of AD. Cases were matched with controls on important confounders and gender. In addition to AD, personal atopy, respiratory atopy, active atopy and familial atopy, and their relation to melanoma development, were also investigated. Statistical analyses were performed using Mc Nemar's test and conditional logistic regression.


188 cases and 596 controls were included. Analysis showed a general inverse association between atopy related outcome variables and melanoma development but only personal atopy was statistically significant (OR=0.53,CI:0.30-0.96,p-value=0.04). A separate analysis showed that nevi count was the most important confounder. Therefore, a sub-analysis was conducted in the group with no or few moles whereby personal atopy remained statistically significant (p-value=0.03).


This is a case-control study on the association between AD and melanoma using a valid AD questionnaire, suggesting an inverse association between personal atopy and melanoma when matched for important confounders. However, no strong claim can be made when corrected for multiple testing.

Authors’ Affiliations

University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Antwerp University Hospital, Antwerp, Belgium
AZ Sint Jozef, Malle, Belgium
Catholic University Leuven, Leuven, Belgium


© Marasigan et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.


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