Increase in some childhood cancers with latitude – Nov 2010

Childhood cancer incidence in relation to sunlight exposure.

Br J Cancer. 2010 Nov 23. Epub ahead of print
Musselman JR, Spector LG.
Division of Pediatrics, Department of Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.

Background:There is increasing interest in the possible association between cancer incidence and vitamin D through its role as a regulator of cell growth and differentiation. Epidemiological studies in adults and one paediatric study suggest an inverse association between sunlight exposure and cancer incidence.

Methods:We carried out an ecological study using childhood cancer registry data and two population-level surrogates of sunlight exposure, (1) latitude of the registry city or population centroid of the registry nation and (2) annual solar radiation. All models were adjusted for nation-level socioeconomic status using socioeconomic indicators.

Results:Latitude and radiation were significantly associated with cancer incidence, and the direction of association was consistent between the surrogates. Findings were not consistent across tumour types.

Conclusion:Our ecological study offers some evidence to support an association between sunlight exposure and risk of childhood cancer.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 23 November 2010; doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6606015 PMID: 21102587

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