Adulthood residential ultraviolet radiation, sun sensitivity, dietary vitamin D, and risk of lymphoid malignancies in the California Teachers Study

Blood. 2011 Aug 11;118(6):1591-9. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-02-336065. Epub 2011 May 26.


To lend clarity to inconsistent prior findings of an inverse association between ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure and risk of lymphoid malignancies, we examined the association of prospectively ascertained residential ambient UVR exposure with risk of non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs), multiple myeloma (MM), and classical Hodgkin lymphoma in the California Teachers Study cohort. Among 121 216 eligible women, 629 were diagnosed with NHL, 119 with MM, and 38 with Hodgkin lymphoma between 1995-1996 and 2007. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate incidence rate ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Residential UVR levels within a 20-km radius were associated with reduced risk of overall NHL (RR for highest vs lowest statewide quartile of minimum UVR [≥ 5100 vs < 4915 W-h/m(2)], 0.58; 95% CI, 0.42-0.80), especially diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (RR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.17-0.78) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (RR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.21-1.01), and MM (RR for maximum UVR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.36-0.90). These associations were not modified by skin sensitivity to sunlight, race/ethnicity, body mass index, or neighborhood socioeconomic status. Dietary vitamin D also was not associated with risk of lymphoid malignancies. These results support a protective effect of routine residential UVR exposure against lymphomagenesis through mechanisms possibly independent of vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / administration & dosage
  • California / epidemiology
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Faculty / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hodgkin Disease / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / epidemiology
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / epidemiology
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / epidemiology*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Sunlight*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Ultraviolet Rays*
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Young Adult


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Vitamin D