People living in cold countries or at higher altitudes that have little exposure to sunlight are, a study has found, at an increased risk of leukemia. This, the study claims, is a result of a significant prevalence of vitamin D deficiency.
Researchers found that people who reside at higher latitudes tend to be two times greater at risk of leukemia compared with people who live in equatorial populations. The study, which was conducted across 171 countries, experienced a reduction in sunlight radiation exposure that was associated with higher risk of cancer.
Leukemia risks tended to be the highest in countries that were closer to the poles, such as New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, China, US and Canada.
Cedric Garland from the University of California said, “People who live in areas with low solar ultraviolet B exposure tend to have low levels of vitamin D metabolites in their blood. These low levels place them at high risk of certain cancers, including leukaemia”.
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