Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(1), 734-748; doi:10.3390/ijerph110100734
Article

Temporal and Spatial Melanoma Trends in Austria: An Ecological Study

Received: 14 October 2013; in revised form: 23 December 2013 / Accepted: 24 December 2013 / Published: 6 January 2014
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Annual solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is mostly determined by latitude and altitude. Over the last decades, increasing UVR ground levels have been observed. Exposure to UVR is associated with a life-time risk to develop melanoma, a malign skin cancer. Thus, we hypothesized that melanoma incidence in Austria is associated with altitude of place of living and time of diagnosis. We investigated this hypothesis in an ecological study by district and year for Austrian melanoma incidence (1990–2010) and mortality (1970–2011) data. As expected, incidence rates increased with altitude (about 2% per 10 m) and year (about 2%). Additionally, melanoma incidence rates were about 50% higher in urban than in rural districts. In contrast, mortality rates decreased with altitude (for males: 0.4% per 10 m, for women: 0.7% per 10 m, respectively). The observed discrepancy between incidence and mortality data could partly be explained by melanoma diagnosis at earlier tumor stage in districts with higher altitude. Possible reasons for this finding include higher awareness of patients, better diagnostic performance of medical professionals working at higher altitudes, or slower tumor growth due to protective effects of sun light-associated vitamin D synthesis.
Keywords: malignant melanoma; UV radiation; Alpine region; metrology; stratospheric ozone
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MDPI and ACS Style

Haluza, D.; Simic, S.; Moshammer, H. Temporal and Spatial Melanoma Trends in Austria: An Ecological Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 734-748.

AMA Style

Haluza D, Simic S, Moshammer H. Temporal and Spatial Melanoma Trends in Austria: An Ecological Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(1):734-748.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Haluza, Daniela; Simic, Stana; Moshammer, Hanns. 2014. "Temporal and Spatial Melanoma Trends in Austria: An Ecological Study." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 1: 734-748.

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