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A recent study has found a connection between leukemia risk and vitamin D deficiency. Since vitamin D is acquired through sunlight, researchers have found that when people live at high latitudes, they are exposed to less sunlight, resulting in lower levels of vitamin D. These individuals were also found to be twice as likely to develop leukemia as people living closer to the equator.
For this study, researchers looked at leukemia incidence rates in 172 countries. Results showed that leukemia rates were the highest in Australia, Chile, Canada, the U.S., and Ireland – all countries located close to the poles. Leukemia rates were the lowest in countries found close to the equator, including Nigeria, Madagascar, and Bolivia. These findings suggest that adequate vitamin D could be crucial for leukemia prevention.
These results were published in PLOS ONE on January 6, 2016.