An ecological study of cancer incidence and mortality rates in France with respect to latitude, an index for vitamin D production
Dermatoendocrinol. 2010 Apr–Dec; 2(2): 62–67. doi: 10.4161/derm.2.2.13624.
William B Grant wbgrant at infionline.net
Copyright © 2010 Landes Bioscience
Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center (SUNARC); San Francisco, CA USA
Received July 18, 2010; Revised September 7, 2010; Accepted September 8, 2010.
France has unexplained large latitudinal variations in cancer incidence and mortality rates. Studies of cancer rate variations in several other countries, as well as in multicountry studies, have explained such variations primarily in terms of gradients in solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) doses and vitamin D production. To investigate this possibility in France, I obtained data on
cancer incidence and mortality rates for 21 continental regions and used this information in regression analyses with respect to latitude.
This study also used dietary data.
Significant positive correlations with latitude emerged for breast, colorectal, esophageal (males), lung (males), prostate, both uterine cervix and uterine corpus, all and all less lung cancer.
Although correlations with latitude were similar for males and females, the regression variance for all and all less lung cancer was about twice as high for males than for females.
Lung cancer incidence and mortality rates for females had little latitudinal gradient, indicating that smoking may have also contributed to the latitudinal gradients for males.
On the basis of the available dietary factor, micro- and macronutrient data, dietary differences do not significantly affect geographical variation in cancer rates. These results are consistent with solar UVB's reducing the risk of cancer through production of vitamin D. In the context of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level-cancer incidence relations,
cancer rates could be reduced significantly in France if everyone obtained an additional 1,000 IU/day of vitamin D. Many other benefits of vitamin D exist as well.
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