Outdoor light at night and risk of liver cancer in the NIH-AARP diet and health study

Yikyung Park, Yesenia Ramirez, Qian Xiao, Linda M. Liao, Gieira S. Jones, Katherine A. McGlynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Accumulating evidence suggests that light at night (LAN) disrupts circadian rhythms and may increase risk of liver cancer. However, there is no population-based study that examined LAN and liver cancer risk. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the association between outdoor LAN and liver cancer risk in a prospective cohort. Methods: Residential outdoor LAN level was measured from satellite imagery in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, a prospective cohort of 451,945 men and women, 50–71 years old. Relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazard models that adjusted for known risk factors for liver cancer and neighborhood characteristics. Results: During an average 12.2 years of follow-up, 897 liver cancers, 603 of which were hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC), were diagnosed. Residential outdoor LAN was not associated with risk of liver cancer (RRQ5 vs Q1 = 0.96, 95% CI: 0.77–1.20, p trend = 0.771) or HCC (RRQ5 vs Q1 = 0.82, 95% CI: 0.62–1.07, p trend = 0.425). Conclusion: No association between outdoor LAN and risk of liver cancer or HCC may in part be due to limitations in LAN assessment. More studies on the relationship between light intensity, duration, timing, and wavelength and liver cancer are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1215-1218
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Hepatocellular carcinomas
  • Light at night
  • Liver cancer


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