A research letter compiled by Colorado-based researchers and published by JAMA Dermatology compares melanoma death and incidence rates by states and in four geographic regions.

Robert P. Dellavalle, MD, PhD, MSPH, of the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, and his research team used a publicly available database to compile the data.

According to the letter, per a media release from The JAMA Network Journals, 23 of 48 states (with data for 2003 and 2013) had a decrease in melanoma death rates; four states had no change and 21 states saw an increase.

In addition, 11 of the 49 states with reported melanoma incidence rates saw a decrease and 38 states had an increase.

“Promoting greater awareness of skin cancer through public health programs has been associated with increased documentation and incidence rates. Lower death rates may further indicate that better treatment may be prolonging the life of patients with melanoma. Further research into the prevalence of melanoma in these four geographic regions is needed,” the researchers write, per the release.

[Source(s): The JAMA Network Journals, Science Daily]