A new study, “Association Between Indoor Tanning and Melanoma in Young Men and Women” published online in the journal JAMA Dermatology, links the age at which men and women begin using tanning beds and onset of melanoma later in life.
According to the study, non-Hispanic white females were more likely to use indoor tanning beds than any other racial or ethnic group. Thirty-one percent of high school girls, 6 percent of high school boys and 25 percent of women ages 18 to 34 years were reported to use a tanning bed. Most females in the study used the indoor tanning beds at a minimum of 10 times a year. Due to a small sample size of men in the study the results were mainly focused on women.
In the study, women with blue eyes, fair skin, moles and previous painful sunburn experiences had a greater chance of developing skin cancer. Women that were diagnosed with skin cancer at 40-years-old were found to have started using tanning beds at 16, while women that were diagnosed at ages older than 40-years started at 25. The study concluded that indoor tanning beds were linked to skin cancer risk in women, particularly if they were diagnosed at an age younger than 30.
young women who used indoor tanning beds had six times the risk of being diagnosed with skin cancer.
Live Science reported that young women who used indoor tanning beds had six times the risk of being diagnosed with skin cancer. The media outlet also reported that the use of indoor tanning beds might be linked to a rise in melanoma rates in American women.
According to Live Science almost 50 percent of the top 125 colleges in the United States made indoor tanning beds available to students. The co-authors of the study, in an editorial, wrote that rather than promote the use of tanning beds to college-age students, universities could implements practices to discourage their use. Despite many states restricting tanning beds to minors, researchers are calling for more efforts to inform young women about the risks of indoor tanning. On January 27 the Massachusetts House approved a bill that would restrict any person under the age of 18 from using a tanning bed.