UV Radiation, Latitude, and Melanoma in US Hispanics and Blacks | Dermatology | JAMA Dermatology | JAMA Network
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July 2004

UV Radiation, Latitude, and Melanoma in US Hispanics and Blacks

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery (Drs Hu and Kirsner) and Epidemiology and Public Health (Drs Collado-Mesa and Kirsner)and the Sylvester Cancer Center, University of Miami School of Medicine, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Drs Ma and Kirsner), Miami, Fla. Theauthors have no relevant financial interest in this article.

Arch Dermatol. 2004;140(7):819-824. doi:10.1001/archderm.140.7.819

Background  Little information exists on the epidemiology of melanoma and the role of solar radiation in the development of melanoma in pigmented populations.

Objective  To evaluate the relationship between exposure to solar radiation and the incidence of melanoma in US Hispanics and blacks.

Design  Population-based ecological study.

Setting  State cancer registries of New York, New Jersey, Illinois, California, Texas, and Florida.

Subjects  Patients with invasive melanoma recorded by cancer registries.

Main Outcome Measures  We obtained age-adjusted, race/ethnicity- and sex-specific incidence rates of melanoma from similar time periods from the 6 cancer registries.The incidence rate s were correlated with the annual mean UV index and the latitude of residency.

Results  For both Hispanics and blacks, the incidence of melanoma was positively associated with the UV index and negatively associated with the latitude ofresidency. Statistically significant correlation between melanoma and theUV index (R = 0.93; P =.01) and latitude (R = −0.80; P = .05) was observed in black males. Hispanics and blacks have a significantly lower incidence of melanoma than whites, with blacks having the lowest ratesof melanoma.

Conclusions  Exposure to solar radiation appears to play a role in the developmentof melanoma in both Hispanics and blacks. Sun protection and melanoma riskeducation should be performed in these populations.