European Journal of Dermatology


Incidence of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer in patients with celiac disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis Volume 33, numéro 5, September-October 2023


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1 Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
2 Faculty of Health Sciences, Division of Dermatology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
* Reprints: Patrick J Kim


There is conflicting observational evidence regarding the association between skin cancer and celiac disease (CD). The purpose of this review was to investigate the incidence rate ratio (IRR) of skin cancer incidence between patients with and without CD.

Materials & Methods

MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched on October 27th, 2021 and eight articles were identified for review. Quality assessment was conducted using the Newcastle Ottawa Scale. Seven articles were included in meta-analysis for a pooled estimate of IRR across all skin cancers, malignant melanoma (MM), and non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC).


In total, 74,860 CD patients were followed for 710,214 person-years in the meta-analysis. Overall combined incidence was 99.8 cases per 100,000 person-years. Meta-analysis of all skin cancer incidence showed no significant difference in CD patients compared to controls (IRR: 1.06; 95% CI: 0.95, 1.17; p=0.29; I2: 0%). Five studies reported on MM incidence; there was no significant difference in incidence compared to controls (IRR: 0.87, 95% CI: 0.72, 1.06; p=0.22; I2: 9%). Five studies reported on NMSC incidence, revealing a significantly increased risk of NMSC in CD patients (IRR: 1.14; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.28; p=0.04; I2: 0%).


Our findings suggest a significantly increased incidence of NMSC in CD patients compared to control data and no significant association between CD and MM incidence. The findings are limited by the quantity and quality of the evidence. Nonetheless, clinicians should emphasize the importance of sun protection, such as sunscreen usage and self-examination for patients with CD.