Study: Redheads at risk for multiple BCCs

September 7, 2010

Rotterdam, Netherlands - A Dutch population-based study suggests that redheads run the highest risk for developing multiple basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), MedPage Today reports.

Rotterdam, Netherlands - A Dutch population-based study suggests that redheads run the highest risk for developing multiple basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), MedPage Today reports.

Researchers from Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, conducted the prospective study, which followed nearly 11,000 people for almost a decade. Investigators found that redheads who had one BCC were 40.3 percent more likely to have multiple subsequent lesions than dark-haired people.

The study, published in the August issue of Archives of Dermatology, also found that younger patients tended to develop BBCs subsequent to being diagnosed with initial ones, as did people with higher socioeconomic status and those whose first BCC was located on an upper extremity. The authors wrote that these findings could help physicians focus most closely on such patients for more rigorous follow-up.

Noting the aging of the population, the authors called for further research in this area that could limit follow-up costs for people in this large segment. They also acknowledged that since the most study participants were Dutch females, white, and over age 55, the findings may not be generalizable to people of different ages, ethnicity or skin types, or those who live in different locations.