Incidence of squamous-cell carcinoma of the conjunctiva and other eye cancers in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study

21 May 2012
B Emmanuel, E Ruder, S-W Lin, C Abnet, AR Hollenbeck, SM Mbulaiteye

Purpose: To investigate the risk factors for squamous-cell carcinoma of the conjunctiva (SCCC) and other eye cancers in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.

Methods: We estimated incidence rates and associations with age, sex, race/ethnicity and ultraviolet radiation using Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: The incidence was 37.3 per 106 for all eye cancers (N = 178), 8.4 per 106 for SCCC (N = 40) and 28.9 per 106 for other eye cancers (N = 138). For all eye cancers, the incidence was lower in women than in men (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.38, 95% CI: 0.26, 0.55) and in persons aged ≤60 years than those aged >60 years (HR = 0.51, 95% CI: 0.36, 0.72). The incidence was higher, but not statistically significant, in those with an average net erythemal exposure >170 versus ≤170 (HR = 1.19, 95% CI: 0.88, 1.63) and lower in those residing at latitudes >35° versus ≤35° (HR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.61, 1.09). The patterns were similar for SCCC in sex, age, race/ethnicity and average net erythemal exposure, but not statistically significant.

Conclusion: The incidence of all eye cancers was associated with male sex and older age. The same patterns were observed for SCCC. The associations reported here might be surrogates of exposure to ultraviolet radiation, although more follow-up is needed to obtain precise results.

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