Lung cancer link to sunlight

A lack of sunlight may increase the risk of lung cancer, US research suggests.

The researchers found that lung cancer rates were highest in those countries furthest away from the equator and lowest in those nearest.

They examined the association between latitude, exposure to UVB light, and rates of lung cancer according to age in 111 countries around the world. The amount of cloud cover and aerosol use, both of which absorb UVB light, and cigarette smoking which is the primary cause of lung cancer, were also taken into account.

Researchers found that the prevalence of smoking was asso-ciated with higher lung cancer rates, while greater exposure to UVB light was associated with lower rates of lung cancer.

The associations for a protective role for UVB light remained after adjusting for smoking.

Countries closest to the equator, like Uganda and Colombia, had fewer than 15 cases of lung cancer per 100,000 people, but countries furthest away from the equator such as Canada and Denmark had over 30 cases of lung disease per 100,000 people.

Laboratory research has shown that vitamin D can halt tumour growth by promoting the factors responsible for cell death in the body.

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Dr Zoe Norris

GPDF slashes costs and overhauls funding rules to 'restore trust' with GPs

The General Practice Defence Fund (GPDF) has cancelled contracts worth hundreds of...

Churchill Gardens

Scheme from Brazil helps address health inequalities in London practice

A scheme involving community health and wellbeing workers, which is based on a long-standing...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: How an initiative from Brazil could help general practice and improve outcomes

Dr Matt Harris and London GP Dr Connie Junghans Minton explain how an initiative...

Medical centre sign

One in three GP practices in Northern Ireland faced serious closure risk in past 18 months

One in three GP practices in Northern Ireland have faced a serious risk of closure...

BMA sign

BMA warns Treasury 'many practices' will close without emergency financial support

GP leaders have urged the Treasury to agree emergency funding to support general...


Practices can use £172m PCN cash to support staff pay rises, GP leaders say

Practices can use their share of Β£172m from the 2023/24 investment and impact fund...