Korean Patients With Parkinson Disease May Have a Greater Risk of Skin Cancer

April 16, 2020

Korean patients with Parkinson disease were found to be at greater risk of developing skin cancer, with male and older populations considered higher-risk groups, according to study findings published this week.

Korean patients with Parkinson disease (PD) were found to be at greater risk of developing skin cancer, with male and older populations considered higher-risk groups, according to study findings published this week in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

Although prior research has indicated that patients with PD (PwP) have a significantly lower risk of cancer, studies have also shown the potential link of the disease with melanoma and prostate cancer. As researchers note, many of the studies reporting prevalence of skin cancers in PwP involve Caucasians, which may complicate findings. This patient population is generally at a much higher risk of developing nonmelanoma or melanoma skin cancers compared with dark-skinned populations.

The study authors sought to investigate the association between PD and skin cancer in underrepresented Asian populations, who also typically have lighter skin pigmentations. The researchers conducted a nationwide population-based study, examining data from 70,780 patients from Korea with newly diagnosed PD between January 2010 and December 2015. PwP were compared with a control group of 353,900 sex and age-matched patients without PD.

In the study findings, Korean PwP were found to be at a nearly 17% greater risk than the non-PD group (overall HR, 1.169; 95% CI, 1.005-1.359). Additionally, age and sex played a prominent factor in determining risk of skin cancer as male PwP aged 65 or older exhibited a 2.8 times greater risk for melanoma development than the non-PD group (HR, 2.825; 95% CI, 1.395-5.721). Female PwP were also found to be at a 1.3 times greater risk of developing nonmelanoma skin cancer than the non-PD group (HR, 1.305; 95% CI, 1.073-1.589).

Because notable differences in risk based on race, age, and sex signal potential at-risk groups, further studies may be warranted to confirm associations. Especially because the present study results conflict eith earlier findings that PwP have a lower cancer risk.

“Compared with the general population, Korean patients diagnosed with PD had a greater risk of skin cancer. Especially, male patients aged 65 years and above and diagnosed with PD had a significant risk of melanoma development compared with control,” said the study authors.

Reference

Ryu HJ, Park JH, Choi M, et al. Parkinson disease and skin cancer risk: a nationwide population-based cohort study in Korea [published online April 14, 2020]. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. doi: 10.1111/jdv.16462.