NMSC linked to lower Alzheimer’s risk

May 20, 2013

Older patients who have nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) may have a significantly lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a recent study indicates.

 

Older patients who have nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) may have a significantly lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a recent study indicates.

Researchers from the Saul B. Korey Department of Neurology Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, N.Y., evaluated 1,102 patient volunteers aged 70 years and older who took part in the New York City epidemiologic, longitudinal Einstein Aging Study. Each patient was assessed annually, followed by multidisciplinary diagnostic consensus, according to the abstract. Researchers also obtained self-reported cancer status and type to examine the association between NMSC and subsequent risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers considered three nested outcomes groups, including patients diagnosed with only AD (probable or possible AD as the sole diagnosis), patients with any AD (probable AD or possible AD, as well as mixed AD/vascular dementia) diagnosis, and patients with all-cause dementia.

After adjusting for demographics, hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease, prevalent NMSC was only associated with reduced risk of AD (hazard ratio = 0.21; 95 percent confidence interval = 0.051–0.87; p = 0.031), the researchers wrote. The researchers did not find any significant association between NMSC and subsequent AD or all-cause dementia.

More than 700 patients had APOE ε4 genotypes. When the researchers included the APOEε4 alleles in the model, they found an association similar in magnitude, but it was not significant.

We deduce Alzheimer-specific neuroprotection, because the effect is attenuated or eliminated when considering less-specific diagnoses such as AD with another diagnosis (any AD) or all-cause dementia,” the researchers concluded.

The findings were published online May 15 in the journal Neurology.