The inverse relationship between the incidence of solar induced eye disease and reported skin cancer rates at high elevation in the tropical Andes, Ecuador, South America

Downs, Nathan J. and Garzon-Chavez, Daniel R. and Quentin, Emmanuelle and Harrison, Simone L. and Parisi, Alfio V. and Butler, Harry (2018) The inverse relationship between the incidence of solar induced eye disease and reported skin cancer rates at high elevation in the tropical Andes, Ecuador, South America. In: 4th International Conference on UV & Skin Cancer Prevention 2018, 1-4 May 2018, Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

Introduction: The populated regions of the high tropical Andes experience near zenith daily solar elevations year-round and are often located several thousand metres above sea level. Consequently, the tropical Andes are a global hot spot for potential solar induced diseases. The 2010 National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC, Ecuador) reported high skin cancer rates in elevated topical parishes calculated from hospital registers and situated in the Andes mountains, confirming the potential risk for residents in the world’s most extreme ultraviolet climate. These climates are also associated with elevated incidence rates of Senile cataract as is evident in ageing populations with a past history of exposure to high levels of solar ultraviolet radiation.

Methods: Annual surface ultraviolet exposure was determined for each parish on a 0.17o x 0.17o grid from remotely sensed satellite parameters including Surface reflectivity, Ozone, Aerosol and Cloud fraction. Data from the INEC was examined for 1040 parishes of Ecuador across a total population of more than 16 million residents to establish localized incidence of both Pterygium and Senile Cataract by average annual surface ultraviolet exposure.

Results: An association with both Pterygium and Senile cataract was established with increasing annual average solar ultraviolet irradiance. Maximum incidence rates reached between 16.17 and 34.39 cases per 100 000 for Senile Cataract and Pterygium respectively. These rates were established for lowland coastal sites and contrast markedly with respective Senile Cataract and Pterygium incidence rates of 2.90 and 6.89 per 100 000 for residents living in high Andean mountain parish districts. These trends are the opposite of what has previously been reported for skin cancer in Ecuador from the same INEC data set.

Conclusion: High elevation and increased peak intermittent solar ultraviolet may provide an explanation for high skin cancer rates in the mountains. However, long-term cumulative exposures obtained largely by surface reflections under brighter skies in lowland environments are likely to be responsible for greater instances of solar induced eye disease.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Speech)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Abstract published in conference programme.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2018 05:38
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2018 05:38
Uncontrolled Keywords: pterygium, cataract, ultraviolet, skin cancer, Ecuador
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111716 Preventive Medicine
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology
04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040699 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine
C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920405 Environmental Health
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/34116

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