Cancer risks in vitiligo patients: A nationwide population-based study in Taiwan

Cheng Yuan Li, Ying Xiu Dai, Yi Ju Chen, Szu Ying Chu, Tzeng-Ji Chen, Chen Yi Wu, Chih Chiang Chen, Ding Dar Lee, Yun Ting Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease characterized by destruction of melanocytes and associated with other autoimmune disease. Whether the dysregulation of immune system enhances oncogenesis or not remains obscure. Until now, no nationwide population-based study has been conducted regarding this. As such, this paper aims to clarify cancer risk in vitiligo patients. A retrospective nationwide population-based cohort study between 2000 and 2010 was performed based on data from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) of cancers were analyzed. Among the 12,391 vitiligo patients (5364 males and 7027 females) and 48,531.09 person-years of observation, a total of 345 cancers were identified. Significantly increased SIRs were observed for prostate cancer in male patients, thyroid cancer and breast cancer in female patients and bladder cancers in both male and female patients. Unfortunately, the low incidence rate of certain cancers limited the power of our statistical analyses. This study demonstrated the patterns of malignancies in vitiligo patients of Taiwan. Compared with the general population, male patients had higher risks of prostate cancer and female patients had higher risks of thyroid cancer and breast cancer. The risks of bladder cancer were also increased in both male and female patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1847
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Malignancy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Taiwan
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Vitiligo


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