Table of Contents
ISRN Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 864680, 5 pages
Research Article

Relationship between Latitude and Melanoma in Italy

1Clinical and Descriptive Epidemiology Unit, Institute for Cancer Study and Prevention (ISPO), Via delle Oblate 2, 50141 Florence, Italy
2Airtum Databank, c/o Clinical and Descriptive Epidemiology, Unit Institute for Cancer Study and Prevention (ISPO), Via delle Oblate 2, 50141 Florence, Italy
3Melanoma Early Diagnosis Service, Institute for Cancer Study and Prevention (ISPO), Via Cosimo il Vecchio 2, 50141 Florence, Italy
4Department of Dermatological Sciences, University of Florence Medical School, Piazza Indipendenza 11, 50121 Florence, Italy

Received 17 October 2011; Accepted 29 November 2011

Academic Editors: R. M. F. Henrique and K. Sonoda

Copyright © 2012 Emanuele Crocetti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Evaluate the ecological relationship between skin melanoma epidemiology and latitude in Italy. Methods. We used data from the Italian network of cancer registries (Airtum). In a Poisson model, we evaluated the effect on incidence, mortality, and survival of latitude, adjusting for some demographic, social, phenotypic, and behavioural variables. Results. Incidence increased in Italy by 17% for each degree of increase in latitude. The effect of latitude was statistically significantly present also adjusting for other variables (incidence rate ratio = 1.08). The effect of latitude on increasing mortality (mortality rate ratio = 1.27) and improving survival (relative excess risk of death = 0.93) was no longer present in the multivariate model. Conclusion. Melanoma incidence, mortality, and survival vary in Italy according to latitude. After adjustment for several confounders, incidence still grows with growing latitude. Presumably, latitude expresses other variables that might be related to individual susceptibility and/or local care.