There is increasing evidence that vitamin D reduces the risk of many types of cancer. Geographic variations in cancer mortality rates in Spain are apparently linked to variations in solar ultraviolet (UV) irradiances and other factors. Cancer mortality rates for 48 continental Spanish provinces for 1978-1992 were used in linear regression analyses with respect to mortality rates for latitude (an index of solar UVB levels), skin cancer (an index of high cumulative UVB irradiance), melanoma (an index related to solar UV irradiance and several other factors) and lung cancer (an index of cumulative effects of smoking). The 9 cancers with mortality rates significantly correlated with latitude for 1 or both sexes were brain, gastric, melanoma, nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), pancreatic, pleural, rectal and thyroid cancer. Inverse correlations with latitude were found for laryngeal, lung and uterine corpus cancer. The 17 cancers inversely correlated with NMSC are bladder, brain, breast, colon, esophageal, gallbladder, Hodgkin's lymphoma, lung, melanoma, multiple myeloma, NHL, ovarian, pancreatic, pleural, rectal, thyroid and uterine corpus cancer. The 16 correlated with melanoma are bladder, brain, breast, colon, gallbladder, leukemia, lung, multiple myeloma, NHL, ovarian, pancreatic, pleural, prostate, rectal, renal and uterine corpus cancer. The results for lung cancer were in accordance with the literature. These results provide more support for the UVB/vitamin D/cancer hypothesis and indicate a new way to investigate the role of solar UV irradiance on cancer risk. They also provide more evidence that melanoma and NMSC have different etiologies.
Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.