Ambient ultraviolet radiation exposure and hepatocellular carcinoma incidence in the United States

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Ambient ultraviolet radiation exposure and hepatocellular carcinoma incidence in the United States

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Title: Ambient ultraviolet radiation exposure and hepatocellular carcinoma incidence in the United States
Author: VoPham, Trang Minh; Bertrand, Kimberly Anne; Yuan, Jian-Min; Tamimi, Rulla May; Hart, Jaime Elizabeth; Laden, Francine

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Citation: VoPham, Trang, Kimberly A. Bertrand, Jian-Min Yuan, Rulla M. Tamimi, Jaime E. Hart, and Francine Laden. 2017. “Ambient Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure and Hepatocellular Carcinoma Incidence in the United States.” Environmental Health 16 (1) (August 18). doi:10.1186/s12940-017-0299-0.
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Abstract: Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most commonly occurring type of primary liver cancer, has been increasing in incidence worldwide. Vitamin D, acquired from sunlight exposure, diet, and dietary supplements, has been hypothesized to impact hepatocarcinogenesis. However, previous epidemiologic studies examining the associations between dietary and serum vitamin D reported mixed results. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between ambient ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure and HCC risk in the U.S.
Methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database provided information on HCC cases diagnosed between 2000 and 2014 from 16 population-based cancer registries across the U.S. Ambient UV exposure was estimated by linking the SEER county with a spatiotemporal UV exposure model using a geographic information system. Poisson regression with robust variance estimation was used to calculate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between ambient UV exposure per interquartile range (IQR) increase (32.4 mW/m2) and HCC risk adjusting for age at diagnosis, sex, race, year of diagnosis, SEER registry, and county-level information on prevalence of health conditions, lifestyle, socioeconomic, and environmental factors.
Results: Higher levels of ambient UV exposure were associated with statistically significant lower HCC risk (n = 56,245 cases; adjusted IRR per IQR increase: 0.83, 95% CI 0.77, 0.90; p<0.01). A statistically significant inverse association between ambient UV and HCC risk was observed among males (p for interaction = 0.01) and whites (p for interaction = 0.01).
Conclusions: Higher ambient UV exposure was associated with a decreased risk of HCC in the U.S. UV exposure may be a potential modifiable risk factor for HCC that should be explored in future research.
Published Version: doi:10.1186/s12940-017-0299-0
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at
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