White teen girls admit to tan indoors

Despite melanoma warnings

White teen girls admit tanning indoors

White teen girls admit tanning indoors

Although rates of melanoma from tanning salons are on increase, these remain popular–with just under one-third of high school girls admitting to using one within the last year, according to a new study from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the study included non-Hispanic white females between the ages of 18 and 34. The study also found that 15 percent of women in that age group use tanning beds frequently.

"Among this population indoor tanning is widespread and because of the association between indoor tanning and cancer, reducing indoor tanning is important," study author and CDC researcher Gery Guy Jr., told the press.

In the study, CDC scientists cited previous research that found tanning before age 35 increases the risk of contracting the skin cancer melanoma by up to 75 percent and tanning before 25 doubles that risk. The team’s findings were based on data from a 2011 survey of high school students and a 2010 survey of adults between the ages of 18 and 34.

"There haven't been many previous estimates just looking at the non-Hispanic, white population. For the adults, there's really no data to compare it to," Guy said.

After analyzing the data, the researchers found that over 29 percent of white high school girls said they had recently used an indoor tanning facility and about 17 percent said they had tanned indoors more than 10 times within past year. When data from the older women was included, those percentages dropped to 25 percent and about 15 percent respectively.

"These findings showing such high rates of indoor tanning in the population reinforce the importance of education efforts in young adults to reduce the risk of skin cancer," Guy said.

In discussing steps to reduce the use of indoor tanning facilities, Guy and his co-authors write about steps proposed by the Food and Drug Administration about the regulation of tanning beds.

"I think it's important that multi-level, comprehensive approaches are taken, such as the FDA's proposed changes, counseling that's been effective and changing social norms," Guy said.

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