Multiple indicators of ambient and personal ultraviolet radiation exposure and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (United States)

D. Michal Freedman, Michael G. Kimlin, Richard W. Hoffbeck, Bruce H Alexander, Martha S. Linet

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22 Scopus citations


Recent epidemiologic studies have suggested that ultraviolet radiation (UV) may protect against non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), but few, if any, have assessed multiple indicators of ambient and personal UV exposure. Using the US Radiologic Technologists study, we examined the association between NHL and self-reported time outdoors in summer, as well as average year-round and seasonal ambient exposures based on satellite estimates for different age periods, and sun susceptibility in participants who had responded to two questionnaires (1994-1998, 2003-2005) and who were cancer-free as of the earlier questionnaire. Using unconditional logistic regression, we estimated the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals for 64,103 participants with 137 NHL cases. Self-reported time outdoors in summer was unrelated to risk. Lower risk was somewhat related to higher average year-round and winter ambient exposure for the period closest in time, and prior to, diagnosis (ages 20-39). Relative to 1.0 for the lowest quartile of average year-round ambient UV, the estimated OR for successively higher quartiles was 0.68 (0.42-1.10); 0.82 (0.52-1.29); and 0.64 (0.40-1.03), p-trend. = 0.06), for this age period. The lower NHL risk associated with higher year-round average and winter ambient UV provides modest additional support for a protective relationship between UV and NHL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-325
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, and the US Public Health Service of the Department of Health and Human Services. We thank Li Cheung of Information Management Services, Inc. for biomedical computer assistance. Dr. Michael Kimlin is supported through a Cancer Council Queensland Senior Research Fellowship.


  • Epidemiology
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Ultraviolet radiation
  • Vitamin D


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