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UCSD Study Finds Low Exposure To Sunlight Increases Risk Of Pancreatic Cancer

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Researchers examined data from 107 countries and found the highest pancreatic cancer rates in countries with the least amount of sunlight.

Too much sunlight is bad for you. But so is too little.

New research from UC San Diego suggests a lack of sunlight is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.

Researchers examined data from 107 countries. They found the highest pancreatic cancer rates in countries with the least amount of sunlight. Low sunlight levels are due to a combination of cloud cover and high latitude.

People who live in sunlight-deficient areas have trouble making Vitamin D. The study suggests low levels of Vitamin D may contribute to the risk of pancreatic cancer.

The U.S has the world's 20th highest pancreatic cancer rate. Dr. Cedric Garland, lead author of the study, said much of the U.S. population lives at 38 degrees north of the equator.

"And we do have a lot of cloud cover, particularly in the winter, especially in the northern tier of states, and extremely so in the northeast quadrant of the U.S.," Garland explained.

An estimated 48,960 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year.

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