Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 21, Issue 8, pp 1265–1275

A case–control study of ultraviolet radiation exposure, vitamin D, and lymphoma risk in adults

  • Jennifer L. Kelly
  • Jonathan W. Friedberg
  • Laura M. Calvi
  • Edwin van Wijngaarden
  • Susan G. Fisher
Original paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10552-010-9554-1

Cite this article as:
Kelly, J.L., Friedberg, J.W., Calvi, L.M. et al. Cancer Causes Control (2010) 21: 1265. doi:10.1007/s10552-010-9554-1


Recent research suggests that ultraviolet radiation exposure (UVRE), our major source of vitamin D, is associated with reduced lymphoma risk. Animal and human studies support an association between vitamin D (vitD) insufficiency and increased risk of some malignancies. We conducted a clinic-based case–control study (140 lymphoma cases, 139 controls; 2002–2005, Rochester, NY) to evaluate UVRE and vitD insufficiency in relation to lymphoma risk. Subjects completed a survey and provided a blood sample. We used multivariable logistic regression to estimate lymphoma risk in relation to past (5–10 years prior) UVRE and current vitD insufficiency (determined by serum 25(OH)D). Possible differences in effect by lymphoma subtype were explored, but statistical power was limited. We confirmed the previously reported decrease in lymphoma risk with past UVRE, specifically sunbathing (>once/week versus never); adjusted odds ratio (ORadj), = 0.28, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.10–0.79. Current vitD insufficiency was not associated with lymphoma risk (ORadj = 0.89, 95% CI: 0.47–1.72). However, current sunbathing frequency was correlated with measured serum 25(OH)D values. Therefore, while our data do not support an association with current vitD status, development of accurate methods for past vitD assessment to further investigate its role in the association between past UVRE and lymphoma risk is warranted.


Case–control studies Epidemiology Lymphoma Ultraviolet radiation Vitamin D 



25-Hydroxyvitamin D


Confidence interval


Diffuse large B cell lymphoma


Follicular lymphoma


Non-Hodgkin lymphoma


Odds ratio


Ultraviolet radiation

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer L. Kelly
    • 1
  • Jonathan W. Friedberg
    • 2
  • Laura M. Calvi
    • 3
  • Edwin van Wijngaarden
    • 1
  • Susan G. Fisher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Community and Preventive MedicineUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA
  2. 2.James P. Wilmot Cancer CenterUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Endocrine Metabolism Division, Department of MedicineUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA