Risky UV exposure common among young adults

May 16, 2012

Many young adults engage in high-risk sun exposure and indoor tanning behaviors even as skin cancer rates among this age group continue to rise, according to recent studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute.

National report - Many young adults engage in high-risk sun exposure and indoor tanning behaviors even as skin cancer rates among this age group continue to rise, according to recent studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute.

The studies suggest that despite sunscreen use, seeking shade and wearing clothing to the ankles, half of the subjects reported getting a sunburn in the past year. They also noted the increasingly common use of indoor tanning among young adults.

The studies, which looked at young Americans between ages 18 and 29 from 2000 to 2010, found the highest rate of sunburn among whites, with 66 percent, and the lowest rate among blacks at 11 percent. The studies found shade to be the second-most common form of protection from sunburn for both sexes, with women favoring sunscreen, while men preferred long clothing.

Risky indoor tanning behavior among young people was also noted. According to the studies, the highest rate of indoor tanning was among Midwestern white women between ages 18 and 21 (44 percent), followed by Southern white women ages 22 to 25 (36 percent).

The findings were published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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