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Correlations between meteorological parameters and prostate cancer

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Author(s): St-Hilaire Sophie | Mannel Sylvio | Commendador Amy | Mandal Rakesh | Derryberry DeWayne

Journal: International Journal of Health Geographics
ISSN 1476-072X

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 19;
Date: 2010;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background There 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. Results In 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. Conclusion The 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.
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