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December 2015

Skin Cancer Risk in Gay and Bisexual Men: A Call to Action

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California
  • 2Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego
  • 3Division of Prevention and Behavioral Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester
JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(12):1293-1294. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.3125

In this issue of JAMA Dermatology, Mansh and colleagues1 report results from the first known study to examine the prevalence of skin cancer in sexual minorities. The authors leveraged large US-representative and California-representative epidemiological databases to explore self-reported diagnoses of skin cancer and use of indoor tanning among nearly 200 000 adults. The findings revealed significant sexual orientation health disparities. Skin cancer rates among sexual minority men ranged between 4.3% and 6.7%, whereas the rates among heterosexual men ranged between 2.7% and 3.2%, for increased adjusted odds of skin cancer for sexual minority men between 1.56 and 2.13. Nonsignificant differences emerged between heterosexual and sexual minority women. Although Mansh and colleagues1 did not statistically compare the rates of skin cancer between sexual minority men and women, it is worth noting that sexual minority men reported the highest rates across sex and sexual orientation.