We Are Sunshine

Sunlight Cuts Stroke Risk: Study

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

A new study has yet another group of doctors questioning the all-out Sun Scare mantra, as it now appears that more frequent sun exposure may reduce your risk of suffering a stroke by up to 60 percent.

“We hear a lot about how sun may be bad for us, in terms of skin cancer for example,” Dr. Leslie McClure, an associate professor of biostatistics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told HealthDay News. “But this examination of sunlight exposure indicates that there may be some positive results related to being in the sun.”

The study, which has yet to be published, was presented at the American Stroke Association’s annual meeting in New Orleans this month.

McClure, the study’s co-author, is not a skin cancer specialist and probably does not know that melanoma is more common in indoor workers than it is in outdoor workers. “If researchers in disciplines outside of the chemical sunscreen-cosmetic dermatology world knew all of the facts about how anti-sun research is distorted, I think they’d feel more and more comfortable about fully embracing a return to a more natural approach to sun exposure – that is, to fully endorse regular, non-burning exposure,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said. “I think we’re seeing the tipping point on that. Dermatology’s day out of the sun is nearing an end.”

The UAB study supports that. Following more than 16,000 men and women over age 45, researchers found that those who got the least amount of sun had a 60 percent greater risk of stroke when compared to those who got the most sun. Researchers speculate that vitamin D may be behind the correlation, but were careful to reach any conclusions, calling for more research.

“We still don’t know what exactly the sunlight and stroke relationship is due to,” McClure told HealthDay. “There are a lot of hypotheses. But, we really don’t yet understand the mechanism behind it.”

To read the HealthDay story click here.