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Research suggests there may be a genetic influence on the likelihood of becoming tanning dependent (TD). The way in which mothers regulate their children’s sun exposure may be affected by being TD. We investigated the associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) related to being TD and early sun exposure.
Data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) were used. Associations between 17 TD related SNPs in children and their mothers and 10 sun exposure variables in children (assessed via questionnaire at age 8) were analyzed in logistic and ordinal logistic regressions. Analyses were adjusted for principal components of population structure and age (at time of questionnaire response). Models with additional adjustment for maternal or offspring genotypes were also tested. Secondary analyses included adjustment for sex and skin pigmentation.
Among ALSPAC children, the rs29132 SNP in the Vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein A (VAPA) gene was associated with five sun exposure variables whilst the rs650662 SNP in the Opioid Receptor Mu 1 (OPRM1) gene was associated with three. The remaining SNPs did not show associations beyond what was expected by chance. After Bonferroni correction one SNP in the children was associated with an increased likelihood of using sun cream whilst in the sun at 8 years old (rs60050811 in the Spermatogenesis and Centriole Associated 1 (SPATC1) gene, OR per C allele = 1.34, 95% CI 1.11–1.62, p = .003). In the mothers, rs650662 in OPRM1 was associated with the use of a lower factor of sun cream in their children, (OR per A allele = 0.89, 95% CI 0.82–0.96, p = .002). Whilst rs2073478 in the Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1 Family Member B1 (ALDH1B1) gene was associated with a reduced odds of their child using a sun block or cream with a 4 star rating (OR per T allele = 0.68, 95% CI 0.53–0.88, p = .003). Similar but weaker associations were observed for the main findings in the secondary analyses.
We found weak evidence to suggest that genes previously associated with TD are associated with sun exposure in children of European ancestry from southwest England.