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BACKGROUND: We have investigated the geographic distribution of squamous-cell carcinoma of the eye to assess whether solar ultraviolet light is a risk factor for this disease. METHODS: We used routinely collected population-based cancer incidence data and published measurements of ambient solar ultraviolet light in our analysis. FINDINGS: The incidence of squamous-cell carcinoma of the eye declined by 49% of each 10 degrees increase in latitude (p < 0.0001), falling from more than 12 cases per million per year in Uganda (latitude 0.3(0)) to less than O.2 per million per year in the UK (latitude > 50(0)). Solar ultraviolet radiation decreases with increasing latitude, and the incidence of squamous-cell carcinoma of the eye decreased by 29% per unit reduction in ultraviolet exposure (p < 0.0001). INTERPRETATION: Our results are compatible with the hypothesis that exposure to solar ultraviolet light is an important cause of squamous-cell carcinoma of the eye.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Lancet

Publication Date

25/05/1996

Volume

347

Pages

1450 - 1451

Keywords

Age Factors, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Conjunctival Neoplasms, Environmental Exposure, Female, Humans, Incidence, Male, Risk Factors, Sex Factors, Ultraviolet Rays