UV radiation exposure, skin type and lymphoid malignancies: results of a French case-control study

Cancer Causes Control. 2008 Apr;19(3):305-15. doi: 10.1007/s10552-007-9093-6. Epub 2007 Nov 27.


Objectives: Investigating the relationship between skin type, UV exposure, and lymphoid malignancies (LM).

Methods: We conducted a hospital-based case-control study in France, including 813 incident cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL), lymphoproliferative syndrome (LPS) or multiple myeloma and 748 controls.

Results: Positive associations between HL and blond/red hair (OR = 1.8 [0.8-3.8]), very fair/fair skin (OR = 1.6 [1.0-2.5]) were observed. High propensity to burn was associated with HL (OR = 1.5 [1.0-2.2]) and LPS (OR = 1.4 [1.0-2.1]). Poor ability to tan was significantly associated with HL (OR = 1.7 [1.0-2.8]). Having light hair with high propensity to burn was associated with NHL (OR = 1.5 [0.9-2.5]) and significantly with HL (OR = 3.4 [1.4-8.4]). Having dark hair with high propensity to burn was significantly associated with LPS (OR = 1.5 [1.0-2.2]). The associations with HL and NHL were significant for men only, with significant interactions. Outdoors activities since leaving school or in the last decade were not related to LM. Only an almost negative trend was observed. Prior exposure to artificial UV was not associated with LM.

Conclusion: These results suggest a positive association between the most reactive and palest skin types and NHL or HL in men and do not rule out a slight negative relationship between UV exposure and LM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Eye Color
  • Female
  • France
  • Hair Color
  • Humans
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Pigmentation*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*