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Chronobiol Int. 2015 Jun;32(5):657-67. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2015.1032413. Epub 2015 May 8.

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.

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Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University , Seoul , South Korea .


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.


Artificial light at night; breast cancer; generalized poisson distribution; light pollution; treatment prevalence

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