Indoor tanning appears to be common among non-Hispanic white female high school students and adults ages 18 to 34 years, according to a research letter by Gery P. Guy Jr., Ph.D., M.P.H., and colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, G.A.
The researchers used data from the 2011 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) of high school students and the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for adults ages 18 to 34 years to estimate the prevalence of indoor tanning and frequent indoor tanning. Indoor tanning was defined as using an indoor tanning device (sunlamps, sunbed or tanning booth) at least one time during the 12 months before each survey, and frequent tanning was defined as using an indoor tanning device at least 10 times during the same period.
According to the study results, among non-Hispanic white female high school students, 29.3 percent engaged in indoor tanning and 16.7 percent engaged in frequent indoor tanning during the previous 12 months. Among non-Hispanic white women ages 18 to 34 years, 24.9 percent engaged in indoor tanning and 15.1 percent engaged in frequent indoor tanning during the previous 12 months. The prevalence of indoor tanning and frequent indoor tanning increased with age among the high school student group, and decreased with age among women ages 18 to 34 years.
The study concludes, "changing the social norms related to tanned skin and attractiveness may also be an effective strategy in reducing indoor tanning."
(JAMA Intern Med. Published online August 19, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.10013. Available pre-embargo to the media at http://media.jamanetwork.com.)
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