What is the racial predilection of acanthosis nigricans (AN)?

Updated: Oct 14, 2020
  • Author: Jason H Miller, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Acanthosis nigricans is much more common in people with darker skin pigmentation. The prevalence in whites is less than 1%. In Latinos, the prevalence in one study was 5.5%, and, in African Americans, the prevalence is higher, at 13.3%. The incidence is also increased in the Native American population, with one study showing 34.2% of Cherokee patients age 5-40 years with acanthosis nigricans, increasing to 73% of those Cherokee patients with diabetes. [17, 18]

The prevalence in overweight children aged 7-17 years increases to 23% in Latino patients and 19.4% in African American patients. Children of any race with a body mass index greater than the 98th percentile have a 62% prevalence of acanthosis nigricans. [19, 20, 21]

In contrast to the benign form, malignant acanthosis nigricans has no racial predilection.


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