Ulcerative Colitis Associated With Risk for Melanoma Skin Cancer

The prevalence of melanoma skin cancer is highest among patients with ulcerative colitis compared with Crohn disease and non-IBD.

Patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) have an increased risk for melanoma skin cancer (MSC), according to study results presented at the Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (AIBD) 2022 conference, held from December 5 to 7, 2022, in Orlando, Florida.

Researchers sought to determine the prevalence and association of MSC and nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

The retrospective, cross-sectional study obtained data of US adult hospitalizations from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Researchers identified the prevalence of IBD, MSC, and NMSC, including squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and Merkel cell carcinoma. Univariate and mixed-effect multivariate regression analyses were conducted to determine the prevalence and association of IBD with skin cancers.

Among 87,761,798 hospitalizations, 0.67% of patients had Crohn disease (CD) and 0.39% had UC. The prevalence was 0.07% of patients with MSC, 0.01% with squamous cell carcinoma, 0.01% with basal cell carcinoma, and 0.01% with Merkel cell carcinoma (P <.0001). MSC had a higher prevalence in patients with UC (0.13% vs CD, 0.07% and non-IBD, 0.07%). The prevalence of NMSC was 0.01% in the IBD and non-IBD groups (P <.0001).

Early identification of risk factors will help mitigate the burden of IBD-related skin cancers.

Multivariate regression analysis showed that UC was associated with 51% increased odds of MSC (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.51; 95% CI, 1.22-1.85, P =.0001) compared with patients without IBD. No significant association was found between MSC and CD (aOR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.69-1.09; P =.2215) and NMSC and IBD (UC, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.58-1.89; P =.8867; CD, 1.25; 95% CI, 0.67-2.34; P =.4763).

Study limitations include missing clinical data regarding IBD severity and the relationship with medication use.

“Our study found an association between melanoma skin cancer with UC,” the study authors noted. “More prospective studies are needed to evaluate this relationship and determine predictors associated with melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer. Early identification of risk factors will help mitigate the burden of IBD-related skin cancers.”


Patel P, Kothari A, Santhosh S, et al. Association of inflammatory bowel disease with melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers—a nationwide study. Abstract presented at: AIBD 2022; December 5-7, 2022; Orlando, FL. Abstract 105.