Environmental risk factors for uveal melanomas (cancer of the iris, ciliary body, and choroid) have not been identified. To search for these, we examined the correlation of age-adjusted eye cancer incidence rates, a surrogate for uveal melanoma rates, in U.S. states with group level geographic and demographic factors using multivariate linear regression. Incidence rates for eye cancer were inversely correlated with the percentage of the population receiving fluoridated water; that is, higher rates were found in states with lower prevalences of fluoridation (P = 0.01). Fluoride is known to inhibit the growth of microbial agents that cause choroiditis and choroidal lesions in animals. We speculate that fluoridation protects against choroidal melanoma by inhibiting microbial agents that cause choroiditis and/or choroidal lesions in humans.
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