Correlations between meteorological parameters and prostate cancer.
Int J Health Geogr. 2010;9:19. Epub 2010 Apr 21. PMID: 20409297
Department of Biological Sciences, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 83209, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
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.