Telomere length, arsenic exposure and risk of basal cell carcinoma of skin

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Nalini SrinivasRajiv Kumar


Telomere length per se a heritable trait has been reported to be associated with different diseases including cancers. In this study based on arsenic exposed 528 cases with basal cell carcinoma of skin (BCC) and 533 healthy controls, we observed a statistically significant association between decreased telomere length and increased BCC risk (OR = 5.92, 95% CI = 3.92-9.01, P<0.0001). We also observed that higher arsenic exposure (>1.32 micog/L) was statistically significantly associated with decreased telomere length (β = -0.026, 95% CI = -0.05- to -0.003, P = 0.02). The interaction between arsenic exposure and telomere length on BCC risk was statistically significant (P = 0.02). Within each tertile based on arsenic exposure, the individuals with shorter telomeres were at an increased risk of BCC, with highest risk being in the highest exposed group (OR = 16.13, 95% CI = 6.71-40.00, P<0.0001); followed by those in medium exposure group (OR = 5.05, 95% CI = 2.29-10.20, P <0.0001), and low exposure group (OR = 3.44, 95% CI = 1.81-6.54, P = 0.0002). The combined effect of highest arsenic exposure and shortest telomeres on the risk of BCC (OR = 10.56, 95% CI = 5.14-21.70) showed a statistically significant departure from additivity ...Continue Reading

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