Tanning beds still popular despite skin cancer risk

Written by: Manoj Kumar Ramesh
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Washington, Dec 28 (ANI): A new study has revealed that few tanners-male or female-mention avoiding tanning beds when asked about ways to reduce skin cancer risk.

The study also suggested that women are more likely to report use of indoor tanning facilities than men, and some characteristics common to indoor tanners differ by sex.

"Despite a recent meta-analysis that supported a positive association between increased use of indoor tanning and both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, the indoor tanning industry is still growing rapidly, generating more than five billion dollars in annual revenues, and has attracted more than 30 million patrons, primarily women," wrote the study authors.

To describe the prevalence and characteristics of indoor tanning among U.S. adults, Kelvin Choi, of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and colleagues analysed data from the Health Information National Trends study, conducted in 2005.

A total of 2,869 participants who were white and age 18 to 64 answered questions about demographics, lifestyle factors and their use of indoor tanning.

Overall, 18.1 percent of women and 6.3 percent of men reported using indoor tanning facilities during the previous 12 months.

Meanwhile, men were less likely to report indoor tanning if they were older and obese and more likely to do so if they used spray tanning products and lived in metropolitan areas.

"The association between spray tanning product use and indoor tanning use in the past 12 months was strong in women and men, significantly more so in men," wrote the authors.

When asked in an open-response format about ways to prevent skin cancer, the most commonly suggested method by both women and men was wearing sunscreen, followed by avoiding the sun and wearing a hat.

Only 13.3 percent of women and 4.2 percent of men suggested avoiding tanning bed use. In addition, 5.8 of women and 5.6 percent of men reported that they should be evaluated for skin cancer.

"It is concerning that only a small proportion of adults reported avoidance of indoor tanning bed use to prevent skin cancer," wrote the authors.

The findings were reported in the Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (ANI)

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