Melanoma incidence increases in the elderly of Catalonia but not in the younger population: Effect of prevention or consequence of immigration?
All cases of MM diagnosed in 23 hospitals in Catalonia, from 2000 to 2007 were recorded and melanoma incidence calculated and adjusted for the European standard population via the direct method. The age standardised rate/100,000 inhabitants varied from 6.74 in 2000 to 8.64 in 2007 for all melanomas and from 4.79 to 5.80 for invasive MMs; the Breslow thickness was stable during the period. The increase in invasive melanoma incidence in the elderly was remarkable, the crude rate/100,000 inhabitants increasing from 11.04 (2000) to 15.49 (2007) in the 60–64 year population, while remaining more stable in the 30–34 year range, from 3.97 in 2000 to 4.55 in 2007, and with a tendency to decrease from 5.1 in 2000 to 2.5 in 2007 for the age range of 25–29 years. These lower age ranges are much more affected by immigration. Despite the large immigrant population (nearly one million immigrants arrived in Catalonia during the study period from countries with a low melanoma incidence), melanoma incidence in our region has risen considerably and this trend is likely to persist in the near future.