The incidence of melanoma among middle-aged people has soared in the last 40 years, according to a study in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. That’s the bad news. The good news is that mortality from the disease declined during the same period. For women ages 40 to 60, the incidence increased 24-fold, says the study, which looks at 383 adults diagnosed with the disease between 1970 and 2009. The study was conducted by researchers at the Olmsted (Minn.) Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic.
While the reasons for the increase in melanoma in women are not clear, the study does state that “these are the years when previous tanning bed use and ultraviolet exposure in the preceding one or two decades may have influenced the development of melanoma.”
Incidence per 100,000 person-years age-adjusted to 2000 U.S. white population rates
Source: “Increasing Incidence of Melanoma Among Middle-Aged Adults: An Epidemiologic Study in Olmsted, Minnesota,” Mayo Clinic Proceedings, January 2013.