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Indoor tanning remains ‘a major public health issue’: study

February 5, 2014

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San Francisco – Indoor tanning remains popular despite the risk of skin cancer, with more than 1 out of 3 adults reporting having used an indoor tanning bed, according to a new study from the University of California.

Using data from 88 surveys, researchers evaluated the tanning habits of 406,000 people in the United States, Europe and Australia. Overall, 35.7 percent of adults said they had used a tanning bed; the prevalence was about the same when results were limited to the United States and Canada. However, for all three regions, only 14 percent of adults had used a tanning bed in the previous 12 months.

The practice was particularly common among young people, with 55 percent of college students and 19.3 percent of adolescents across the three regions saying they had used a tanning bed.

Noting the risk of skin cancer, researchers said the results indicate “a major public health issue.”

The study was published online Jan. 29 in the journal JAMA Dermatology.