Indoor Tanning By High School Students Drops By Half

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Gery P. Guy Jr., PhD, MPH Senior Health Economist Division of Unintentional Injury CDC

Dr. Gery Guy

Gery P. Guy Jr., PhD, MPH
Senior Health Economist
Division of Unintentional Injury
CDC

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The incidence of skin cancer is increasing in the United States, and individuals who indoor tan are at an increased risk of skin cancer. Treating skin cancer costs $8.1 billion annually.

The number of high school students who indoor tan dropped by half from 2009 to 2015. In 2015, 1.2 million high school students indoor tanned, down from 2.5 million in 2009. This is a much bigger decrease than we have seen in the past and is an encouraging finding. We also found that 82% of indoor tanners reported sunburn in the past year compared with 54% of those who did not engage in indoor tanning.

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FDA Proposes Restricting Sunlamps To Adults: Tanning = Skin Damage

Dr. Jennifer A. Stein MD PhD Associate Professor Department of Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology NYU Langone Medical Center

Dr. Jennifer Stein

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Jennifer Stein MD
Associate Professor

Department of Ronald O. Perelman
Department of Dermatology
NYU Langone Medical Center

Medical Research: What is the background for this FDA decision? What is the issue surrounding tanning beds?

Dr. Stein:  This is an important proposal from the FDA because it restricts minors from tanning and requires adults to sign an acknowledgement stating they have been informed about the risks of tanning.

There is clear evidence that indoor tanning significantly increases a person’s risk for skin cancer, including melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer.

It is important to protect young people from the dangers of tanning beds, especially because many patients report that they started indoor tanning as teens. There are 1.6 million minors using tanning beds every year.

MedicalResearch: What is the problem with tanning?  Isn’t a tan better than a sunburn?

Dr. Stein: Tanning beds deliver intense amounts of UVA. We know that UVA penetrates deep into the skin and causes mutations that lead to skin cancers, including melanoma. Tanning is a sign that skin cells have been damaged by UV light.

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Indoor Tanning Declines But Still Popular

Dr Gery GuyMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Gery P. Guy Jr., PhD, MPH
Health Economist
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Guy: Indoor tanning exposes users to intense ultraviolet radiation, which damages the skin and can cause skin cancer, including melanoma (the deadliest type of skin cancer), basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Previous research has demonstrated that indoor tanning is common among adults in the United States.

This study examined the changes in prevalence and frequency of indoor tanning among adults in the United States. Our study found significant reductions in indoor tanning among all adults, women, and men. From 2010 to 2013, 1.6 million fewer women and 400,000 fewer men indoor tanned. While these reductions are encouraging, nearly 10 million adults continue to indoor tan at least once a year. These individuals are trading a tan for an increased risk of skin cancer. While the tan is temporary, the risk for skin cancer is permanent.

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Indoor Tanning and Eating Disorders Linked in Adolescents

MedicalResearch.com Interview with
Stephen M. Amrock, SM
Department of Pediatrics
New York University School of Medicine
New York, NY 10016

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: We analyzed data from a nationally representative survey on youth risk behaviors. After adjusting for other risk taking behaviors, we found that high school adolescents who indoor tan were much more likely to also engage in behaviors typically associated with eating disorders. We also noted that the link between indoor tanning and such harmful weight control behaviors was even stronger among males than females.

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