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High prevalence of breast cancer in light polluted areas in urban and rural regions of South Korea: An ecologic study on the treatment prevalence of female cancers based on National Health Insurance data

posted on 28.05.2015, 00:00 by Yun Jeong Kim, Eunil Lee, Man Sik Park, Hyo Sun Lee, Mari Kim

It has been reported that excessive artificial light at night (ALAN) could harm human health since it disturbs the natural bio-rhythm and sleep. Such conditions can lead to various diseases, including cancer. In this study, we have evaluated the association between ALAN and prevalence rates of cancer in females on a regional basis, after adjusting for other risk factors, including obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption rates and PM10 levels. The prevalence rates for breast cancer were found to be significantly associated with ALAN in urban and rural areas. Furthermore, no association was found with ALAN in female lung, liver, cervical, gastric and colon cancer. Despite the limitations of performing ecological studies, this report suggests that ALAN might be a risk factor for breast cancer, even in rural areas.