A new study reinforces the link between tanning beds and melanoma, warning that certain groups are at a serious risk.
The cold winter months can really increase the temptation to hop in a tanning bed for a few hours, but a recent study reaffirms that this may not be such a good idea.
According to a report from CBS News, a team of scientists from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and the Masonic Cancer Center has shown that younger women who spent time in tanning beds were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma, a deadly strain of skin cancer.
The study was inspired by the growing number of men and women under the age of 50 reporting skin complications after extensive indoor tanning. According to author DeAnn Lazovich, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota, “This is one of the first studies to look at the relationship between indoor tanning and melanoma broken down by gender and age group.”
The study’s sample population included 681 patients who had been diagnosed with melanoma between 2004 and 2007, as well as 654 patients who did not have skin cancer. The participants in the study ranged from 25 to 49 years in age.
The results showed that 68.3 percent of the patients with melanoma in the study were women. Scientists discovered that women were two to six times more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma if they reported having been indoor tanning.
Younger women appeared to be hitting the tanning beds harder than older women as well. Women younger than 40 reported starting indoor tanning at an average age of 16, and were also likely to visit an indoor tanning facility for up to an average of 100 sessions.
The link between indoor tanning and melanoma in men was less clear, but the study’s authors believe that this is due to the fact that men are less likely to report their indoor tanning history accurately. The study’s findings were published in the journal JAMA Dermatology.
Lazovich has been studying the link between melanoma and indoor tanning for quite some time. A press release from one of her previous studies can be found here.