Previous studies have reported a connection between UV exposure during pregnancy and lowered the risk of some forms of cancer in children. Additional studies have mirrored the results but in cases of adult cancers. Researchers from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health recently published a study supporting these findings in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

Children receiving cancer diagnosis from birth to five years of age were pulled from the California Cancer Registry. Records spanned from 1987 to 2007. All cases were matched with birth certificate information. Children were placed in groups based on the UVR (UV radiation) index applied to birth address. UVR index was assigned based on information provided by the National Solar Radiation Database.

Children living in areas with UVR exposure in excess of 5,111 watt-hrs/m2 were less likely to be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, hepatoblastoma, and lymphoblastic leukemia. Mother’s age, year of child’s birth and mother’s race were taken into account before final risk was calculated.

Increased exposure to UVR during pregnancy may reduce the risk of certain forms of childhood cancer. Immune function and vitamin D production may come into play.

Source: Lombardi CA, Heck JE, Cockburn M, Ritz B. Solar UV radiation and cancer in young children. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Apr 12.


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