High levels of Vitamin D and low rates of skin cancer among commercial fishermen – July 2019

Sun exposure, skin lesions and vitamin D production: evaluation in a population of fishermen.

An Bras Dermatol. 2019 Jul 29;94(3):279-286. doi: 10.1590/abd1806-4841.20197201.
Coutinho RCS1,2, Santos AFD2,3,4, Costa JGD3,5, Vanderlei AD2,6.

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Exposure to UVR provides benefits related to vitamin D synthesis, but also causes harms, since UVB is considered a complete carcinogen. There is no definition of the level of sun exposure and the proportion of exposed body required for proper synthesis of vitamin D in the skin without causing it damage.

OBJECTIVES: This study aims to analyze the sun exposure index, vitamin D levels and clinical changes in the skin caused by constant sun exposure in the fishermen population.

It is a cross-sectional, observational and analytical study. The sample consisted of fishermen and was calculated in 174 individuals. The questionnaire was applied, the dermatological examination was carried out and the examinations of calcidiol, parathyroid hormone, calcium and phosphorus were requested. Data were expressed as percentages. The comparative analysis was done through the Chi-square test, and the correlations were established through the Pearson's linear coefficient. Results: We observed that there was vitamin D deficiency in a small part of the cases (11.46%), and the frequency of diagnosis of skin cancer was 2.7% of the cases surveyed.

STUDY LIMITATIONS: The difficulty in categorizing the sun exposure index.

The fact that fishermen expose themselves to the sun chronically and have been exposed to the sun for more than 15 years, between 21 and 28 hours a week, and without photoprotection, were indicative factors for protection against vitamin D deficiency. Chronic exposure to sun and high vitamin levels D may be indicative of protection of this population against skin cancer.

Clipped from PDF Conclusion

“There was a low prevalence of diagnosed cases of skin cancer among the fishermen when compared to the general population.”

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