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Ann Occup Environ Med. 2019 Nov 7;31:e32. doi: 10.35371/aoem.2019.31.e32. eCollection 2019.

Relationship between occupational sunlight exposure and the incidence of renal cancer.

Author information

Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Inha University Hospital, Incheon, Korea.
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, School of Medicine, Inha University, Incheon, Korea.
Department of Urology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.



The risk factors for renal cancer include smoking, obesity, hypertension, and exposure to trichloroethylene. Recent studies have shown that low sunlight exposure increases the risk of developing a range of cancers, including renal cancer. Given that most of the daytime is spent at work, a lack of occupational sunlight exposure can be a risk factor for renal cancer. Therefore, this study examined the relationship between occupational sunlight exposure and the incidence of renal cancer.


This was a university hospital-based case-control study on renal cancer. Of the 706 newly diagnosed patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC), 633 cases were selected; 73 who had no occupational history were excluded. In addition, 633 controls were selected from the general population after 1:1 matching with respect to sex, age (within 5 years), and residential area (constituency-level). Information on sunlight exposure by the occupational group was referred to data from France. To estimate the association between occupational sunlight exposure and the RCC risk, the odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using conditional logistic regression analysis.


Sunlight exposure was divided into quartiles and the risk of RCC was analyzed. The adjusted OR of RCC (OR: 0.664, 95% confidence interval: 0.449-0.983) was significantly lower for the Q4 group than Q1 group but the Q2 and Q3 groups did not show significant results. The risk of RCC tended to decrease with increasing exposure to sunlight (p for trend < 0.028).


Higher occupational sunlight exposure reduces the risk of RCC.


Occupational sunlight exposure; Renal cancer; Renal cell carcinoma

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interest

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