Vitamin D Levels Lower in Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome

Most individuals with BCNS avoid sunlight at peak hours, use sunscreen over cancer concern
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with basal cell nevus syndrome (BCNS), many of whom routinely protect themselves from the sun due to higher risk of skin cancer, appear to be at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency, according to research published in the October issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Jean Y. Tang, M.D., of the Stanford University Medical Center in Redwood City, Calif., and colleagues analyzed data from 41 people with BCNS. This group was compared to 360 controls matched by factors including age, sex, and skin type.

The researchers found that 56 percent of the BCNS group were vitamin D deficient, defined as a 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of 20 ng/mL or less. Their average levels were 3 ng/mL below those of the general population, and they were three times more likely to be vitamin D deficient (56 versus 18 percent). Levels were lower among patients who were overweight. Most of the BCNS patients practiced photoprotection by avoiding peak sunlight and using sunscreen.

"It may not be surprising that patients with a genetic predisposition to sun-induced cancers report a high frequency of photoprotection and may be vitamin D deficient. However, the magnitude of this deficiency and the possible additive effect of obesity, which is common in these patients, make individuals with BCNS optimal candidates for cholecalciferol supplementation," the authors write.

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