HealthDay News — Chronic acetylsalicylic acid (ASA; aspirin) exposure is associated with increased risk of malignant melanoma (MM) in men, but not women, according to a letter to the editor published online March 27 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Kelsey A. Orrell, MB, BCh, from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues reviewed a single-center medical record data repository to examine the risk of MM after chronic aspirin exposure. All patients aged 18 to 89 years with no prior history of MM and a minimum follow-up of 5 years after continuous once-daily ASA exposure for 1 year or more were included. All patients within the same time frame with no documented ASA exposure were included as controls.

The researchers observed a significant correlation between ASA exposure and subsequent diagnosis of MM (adjusted relative risk, 1.48; 95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 2.18; P = 0.046). After stratification by gender, a significant correlation was seen for males (adjusted relative risk, 1.83; 95% confidence interval, 1.22 to 2.76; P = 0.004), but not females (adjusted relative risk, 0.53; 95% confidence interval, 0.17 to 1.63; P = 0.266). There was no evidence of a dose-response relationship.

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“Although the mechanism for these findings is unclear, given the potential clinical impact, further exploration of the risk related to chronic, once-daily aspirin exposure and subsequent diagnosis of melanoma is warranted,” the authors write.

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