Study identifies characteristics of sunbed users, motivation for tanning

October 15, 2012, JAMA and Archives Journals

A telephone survey of 4,851 individuals in Germany suggests the overall prevalence of sunbed use was nearly 40 percent for participants who had ever used one and 14.6 percent had used a tanning bed within the last 12 months, according to a study published Online First by Archives of Dermatology.

Exposure to (UVR) is one of the main for developing and are a common source of UVR. There also is evidence that the use of sunbeds significantly increases the risk of skin cancer, according to the study background.

Sven Schneider, Ph.D., M.A., of the Mannheim Institute of Public Health, Social and , Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany, and colleagues sought to determine rates for sunbed use, investigate motivations for tanning, and identify targets for interventions to prevent skin cancer. A total of 4,851 individuals (ages 14 to 45 years old, 50.9 percent men) participated in the study, which included a nationwide telephone survey of the general population in Germany.

"The prevalence of ever use of sunbeds among the 14- to 45-year-olds in Germany was 39.2 percent, and every seventh person in this age group had used a sunbed during the last 12 months. A particularly large percentage of women, , immigrants and the employed reported using solariums," the authors comment.

Compared with men, women were more likely to have ever used a sunbed (49 percent vs. 29.8 percent) or to be currently using sunbeds (17.7 percent vs. 11.7 percent). Ever and current sunbed use was also more prevalent in persons with skin type III to VI than in those individuals with paler skin (40.7 percent vs. 36.5 percent and 17.4 percent vs. 8.9 percent). Those with an immigrant background were significantly more likely to be currently using a sunbed (19.7 percent vs. 13.2 percent). The main motivations for tanning were relaxation and attractiveness, according to the study results.

"The present study presents target groups for future interventions: For example, such interventions could target occupations in which predominantly younger women work because the group of working women are particularly likely to use sunbeds. Furthermore, the relationship between current sunbed use and immigrant background indicates a specific need for the education of this population subgroup," the authors conclude.

Researchers also suggest their study findings emphasize the need for standardized education of sunbed personnel by independent institutions that are not associated with the sunbed industry. The authors note that personnel often fail to inform sunbed users that their motivations for tanning are not medically sound.

Explore further: Use of sunbeds leads to 3000+ cases of melanoma a year in Europe

More information: Arch Dermatol. Published online October 15, 2012. doi:10.1001/2013.jamadermatol.562

Related Stories

Use of sunbeds leads to 3000+ cases of melanoma a year in Europe

July 24, 2012
Of 63,942 new cases of cutaneous melanoma (a form of skin cancer) diagnosed each year in Europe an estimated 3,438 (5.4%) are related to sunbed use. Sunbed users are at a 20% increased relative risk of skin cancer compared ...

Top German court upholds sunbed ban for under-18s

January 19, 2012
Germany's highest court ruled Thursday that minors should be banned from visiting tanning studios due to health concerns, upholding a law that caused controversy in one of Europe's top sunbed markets.

Sunburnt Australia to pull plug on sunbed tans

February 19, 2012
Jay Allen used to love having what he thought was a healthy tan -- so much so that he would regularly expose his body to the lights of a sunbed to ensure he maintained his overall colour.

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.