In 2007, the New Zealand Herald reported "People with moles on their skin live longer".

A study comparing more than 1,800 twins has found that those with more moles on their skin have longer telomeres - a marker of biological ageing found in all cells.

The findings suggest that the risk of cancer is counteracted by the effects of the telomeres, which protect the chromosomes.

Veronique Bataille (who lead the study) is cited, saying (emphasis mine)

This could imply susceptibility to fewer age-related diseases such as heart disease or osteoporosis. Further studies are need to confirm this.

That study was aparently published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention

Since the study itself seems to only offer the possibility of longer life for mole-bearers and since six years have passed, I wonder if there were any follow up studies or other means to harden the claim.

Full study:
Nevus Size and Number Are Associated with Telomere Length and Represent Potential Markers of a Decreased Senescence In vivo

  • If there's something I can do to make this question better, please say so (this is also directed at the downvoter)
    – npst
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 21:36
  • 1
    The whole thing is a very new area of research. But consider the following: moles often serve as sites for development of melanoma, which is hardly a condition contributing to prolonged lifespan.
    – oakad
    Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 5:30
  • 1
    The claim here is a bit vague. No-one is saying they definitely do live longer, but merely suggest it as possible.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 21:20

1 Answer 1


I could not find anything recent about moles - positive or negative. The original article looks like good science to me, but clearly the authors are wary of making claims.

The Australian:

"“We now know of 20 common genetic risk factors, and 12 of these are clearly related to telomere length, pigmentation or the number of moles an individual has,” said co-lead ­author Mark Iles from the University of Leeds in Britain. "

The discoverer is quoted in the article of not wanting to support claims on the internet 'with a barge pole'.

Age Marker:

Professor Blackburn told The Australian that long telomeres had now been implicated in a subset of “really nasty” cancers, including melanoma, brain tumour and lung cancer.

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