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May 2018

Indoor Tanners as a Priority Population for Skin Cancer Screening

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Behavioral Science, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(5):522-523. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.0162

The study by Heckman et al1 published in this issue of JAMA Dermatology makes a significant contribution to our understanding of skin cancer screening for indoor tanners. The literature contains only a handful of studies that examined skin screening prevalence and factors that may be associated with this practice among indoor tanners. The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), a national probability survey of the US adult population, collects data on skin screening and indoor tanning and provides a valuable opportunity to examine potential factors associated with these practices in a large sample. Results of previous studies2,3 of skin screening and indoor tanning using NHIS data have been mixed, possibly because of differences in methods and sampling. One study2 of 2010 NHIS data found a positive association between indoor tanning in the past year and ever having had a skin examination, whereas another study3 of a subsample of the 2015 NHIS data found no association.

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