Cumulative solar ultraviolet radiation exposure and basal cell carcinoma of the skin in a nationwide US cohort using satellite and ground-based measures

Mark P. Little*, Martha S. Linet, Michael G. Kimlin, Terrence Lee, Zaria Tatalovich, Alice J. Sigurdson, Elizabeth K. Cahoon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background:

Basal cell carcinoma of the skin (BCC) is the most common cancer in populations of European ancestry. Although consistently linked with basal cell carcinoma of the skin in case-control studies, few prospective cohort studies have evaluated the shape of the exposure-response of basal cell carcinoma associated with cumulative radiant solar ultraviolet exposure (UVR). 

Methods:

We followed 63,912 white cancer-free US radiologic technologists from entry (1983-1998) to exit (2003-2005) with known ultraviolet irradiance at up to 5 residential locations. Using generalized-additive and relative risk models we analyzed the exposure-response of basal cell carcinomas associated with ambient cumulative ultraviolet radiant exposure using ground-based National Solar Radiation database Average Daily Total Global data and satellite-based National Aeronautics and Space Administration Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer data. 

Results: 

There were 2151 technologists with an incident primary basal cell carcinoma. Risk of basal cell carcinoma rose with increasing cumulative ultraviolet radiation exposure using both measures, such that 1 MJ cm-2 increased basal cell carcinoma risk by 8.48 (95% CI 5.22, 11.09, p < 0.001) and by 10.15 (95% CI 6.67, 13.10, p < 0.001) per 10,000 persons per year using the Average Daily Total Global and Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer ultraviolet data, respectively; relative risk was likewise elevated. There was some evidence of upward curvature in the cumulative ultraviolet exposure response using both exposure measures with a greater increase in risk of basal cell carcinoma at higher levels of ultraviolet radiation exposure, but less evidence for curvature in relative risk. There are indications of substantial variation of relative risk with time after exposure and age at exposure, so that risk is highest for the period 10-14 years after ultraviolet radiation exposure and for those exposed under the age of 25. 

Conclusions: 

We observed increases in risk of basal cell carcinoma and a similar exposure-response for ground-based and satellite ultraviolet radiation measures. Our observations suggest that interventions should concentrate on persons with higher levels of ultraviolet radiation exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114
JournalEnvironmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

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