Vitamin supplementation and reduced risk of basal cell carcinoma

Qingyi Wei, Genevieve M. Matanoski, Evan R. Farmer, Paul Strickland, Lawrence Grossman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A clinic-based case-control study was conducted to determine the association between vitamin supplement use and risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin. The subjects were 131 patients with histopathologically confirmed primary BCC and 200 cancer-free controls with non-premalignant skin disorders. Use of any vitamins (mainly multivitamins and vitamins A, C, and E) was associated with reduced risk of BCC. After controlling for age, sex, cigarette smoking, number of lifetime severe sunburns, and skin actinic elastosis, regular vitamin supplementation was associated with a significantly reduced risk of BCC (odds ratio (OR) = 0.3; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.2-0.6). The ORs decreased as the regularity (p < 0.001) and daily doses of supplement used increased, especially for vitamins A (p < 0.005) and E (p < 0.005). Vitamin supplementation was not associated with alterations in cellular DNA repair. These results, however, cannot be considered conclusive because of the relatively low participation rates ( 131 830 for cases and 200 1406 for controls) due to the requirement of blood donation and more rigorous studies are needed to clarify the effect of supplemental vitamins, particularly of vitamins A and E, on the risk of BCC of the skin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)829-836
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1994


  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Case-control study
  • Vitamin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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