Correlations between meteorological parameters and prostate cancerReport as inadecuate

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International Journal of Health Geographics

, 9:19

First Online: 21 April 2010Received: 23 January 2010Accepted: 21 April 2010DOI: 10.1186-1476-072X-9-19

Cite this article as: St-Hilaire, S., Mannel, S., Commendador, A. et al. Int J Health Geogr 2010 9: 19. doi:10.1186-1476-072X-9-19


BackgroundThere exists a north-south pattern to the distribution of prostate cancer in the U.S., with the north having higher rates than the south. The current hypothesis for the spatial pattern of this disease is low vitamin D levels in individuals living at northerly latitudes; however, this explanation only partially explains the spatial distribution in the incidence of this cancer. Using a U.S. county-level ecological study design, we provide evidence that other meteorological parameters further explain the variation in prostate cancer across the U.S.

ResultsIn general, the colder the temperature and the drier the climate in a county, the higher the incidence of prostate cancer, even after controlling for shortwave radiation, age, race, snowfall, premature mortality from heart disease, unemployment rate, and pesticide use. Further, in counties with high average annual snowfall >75 cm-yr the amount of land used to grow crops a proxy for pesticide use was positively correlated with the incidence of prostate cancer.

ConclusionThe trends found in this USA study suggest prostate cancer may be partially correlated with meteorological factors. The patterns observed were consistent with what we would expect given the effects of climate on the deposition, absorption, and degradation of persistent organic pollutants including pesticides. Some of these pollutants are known endocrine disruptors and have been associated with prostate cancer.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1476-072X-9-19 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Sophie St-Hilaire - Sylvio Mannel - Amy Commendador - Rakesh Mandal - DeWayne Derryberry


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