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Are tattoos linked with individuals' health and risky behaviors?

Wiley

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IMAGE: In a survey-based study published in the International Journal of Dermatology, having tattoos was not significantly related to overall health status, but individuals with tattoos were more likely to be... view more 

Credit: International Journal of Dermatology

In a survey-based study published in the International Journal of Dermatology, having tattoos was not significantly related to overall health status, but individuals with tattoos were more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health issue and to report sleep problems.

People who had tattoos were also more likely to be smokers, to have spent time in jail, and to have a higher number of sex partners in the past year.

The survey was conducted in July of 2016 and resulted in a sample of 2,008 adults residing in the United States.

"Previous research has established an association between having a tattoo and engaging in risky behaviors. In an era of increasing popularity of tattoos, even among women and working professionals, we find these relationships persist but are not associated with lower health status," said lead author Prof. Karoline Mortensen, of the University of Miami.

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