One in three Americans has used tanning beds, upping skin cancer risk

January 29, 2014
1 in 3 americans has used tanning beds, upping skin cancer risk
Global study finds similar numbers elsewhere, despite widespread knowledge of the dangers.

(HealthDay)—More than a third of all Americans—and nearly six out of 10 U.S. university students—have used indoor tanning, despite widespread knowledge that the devices contribute to skin cancer risk, a new study finds.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed data from 88 surveys that included a total of more than 406,000 people in the United States, Europe and Australia.

They found that nearly 36 percent of people in the three regions had used in their lifetime. This included 55 percent of university students and 19 percent of teens.

In the United States, the rate of people who said they had used a tanning bed was 35 percent, according to the study. For college students, that number rose to 59 percent, and 17 percent of adolescents in the United States and Canada said they had already been to a tanning salon.

The numbers were lower when Americans were asked if they had patronized indoor tanning within the past 12 months. In that case, 13 percent of adults, 43 percent of university students and 10 percent of adolescents had used indoor tanning, according to the study, which was published online Jan. 29 in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

"Exposure to indoor tanning is common in Western countries, especially among young persons," said the researchers, led by UCSF's Mackenzie Wehner.

Two skin cancer experts said the numbers are disheartening, since ultraviolet light exposure from indoor tanning is known to cause .

"It is appalling how often exposure to indoor tanning takes place in presumably educated populations and particularly worrisome that we allow adolescents to be exposed to this carcinogen," said Dr. Mark Lebwohl, chairman of the department of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

"We must do a much better job at educating people of all ages about the risks of indoor tanning," said Lebwohl, who is also incoming president-elect of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, agreed.

"Over 1 million people visit tanning salons each day in the United States," she said. "Sadly, the majority of these are young girls and teens. Greater resources and studies are needed to help educate, and to decrease the use of tanning salons and help change the sentiment that a tanned look is more beautiful."

Explore further: Tanning salons now outnumber McDonald's outlets in Florida

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about indoor tanning.

Related Stories

Tanning salons now outnumber McDonald's outlets in Florida

December 26, 2013
(HealthDay)—Skin cancer researchers report in a new study that in the sunny state of Florida, tanning salons now outnumber McDonald's fast-food restaurants.

Study examines prevalence of indoor tanning use among non-Hispanic white females in US

August 19, 2013
Indoor tanning appears to be common among non-Hispanic white female high school students and adults ages 18 to 34 years, according to a JAMA Internal Medicine research letter by Gery P. Guy Jr., Ph.D., M.P.H., and colleagues ...

FDA wants cancer warnings for tanning beds

May 6, 2013
Indoor tanning beds would carry new warnings about the risk of cancer and be subject to additional regulations, under a proposal unveiled by the Food and Drug Administration.

Fans of reality beauty shows twice as likely to tan, study says

January 10, 2013
(HealthDay)—People who tune in to reality beauty shows on television are much more likely to use tanning lamps and to tan outdoors than those who don't watch such shows, a new study finds.

New study links tanning beds to non-melanoma skin cancer

October 2, 2012
Indoor tanning beds can cause non-melanoma skin cancer – and the risk is greater the earlier one starts tanning, according to a new analysis led by UCSF.

College students who use tanning beds often burn: study

August 3, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Sunburn is a common consequence of using indoor tanning beds, according to a new study.

Recommended for you

Researchers release first draft of a genome-wide cancer 'dependency map'

July 27, 2017
In one of the largest efforts to build a comprehensive catalog of genetic vulnerabilities in cancer, researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified more than 760 genes ...

Cancer-death button gets jammed by gut bacterium

July 27, 2017
Researchers at Michigan Medicine and in China showed that a type of bacterium is associated with the recurrence of colorectal cancer and poor outcomes. They found that Fusobacterium nucleatum in the gut can stop chemotherapy ...

Long-sought mechanism of metastasis is discovered in pancreatic cancer

July 27, 2017
Cells, just like people, have memories. They retain molecular markers that at the beginning of their existence helped guide their development. Cells that become cancerous may be making use of these early memories to power ...

Blocking the back-door that cancer cells use to escape death by radiotherapy

July 27, 2017
A natural healing mechanism of the body may be reducing the efficiency of radiotherapy in breast cancer patients, according to a new study.

Manmade peptides reduce breast cancer's spread

July 27, 2017
Manmade peptides that directly disrupt the inner workings of a gene known to support cancer's spread significantly reduce metastasis in a mouse model of breast cancer, scientists say.

Glowing tumor technology helps surgeons remove hidden cancer cells

July 27, 2017
Surgeons were able to identify and remove a greater number of cancerous nodules from lung cancer patients when combining intraoperative molecular imaging (IMI) - through the use of a contrast agent that makes tumor cells ...


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.