Exposure to ultraviolet radiation: association with susceptibility and age at presentation with prostate cancer

Lancet. 2001 Aug 25;358(9282):641-2. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(01)05788-9.


A positive association between latitude and prostate cancer mortality has been interpreted to indicate that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) protects against development of this cancer. We aimed to examine this hypothesis. We compared exposure between 210 cases and 155 controls. Childhood sunburn (odds ratio 0.18, 95% CI 0.08-0.38), regular foreign holidays(0.41, 0.25-0.68), sunbathing score (0.83, 0.76-0.89), and low exposure to UVR (3.03, 1.59-5.78) were associated with development of prostate cancer. Furthermore, cases with low UVR exposure developed cancer at a younger median age (67.7 years, IQR 61.5-74.6) than cases with higher exposure (72.1 years, 67.5-76.4); p=0.006. These findings are compatible with UVR having a protective role against prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • England / epidemiology
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Ultraviolet Rays*