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April 2005

Prevalence of Indoor Tanning Use in Minnesota, 2002

Arch Dermatol. 2005;141(4):523-524. doi:10.1001/archderm.141.4.523

Indoor tanning became popular circa 1980 with the development of tanning devices that emitted a high proportion of UV-A relative to UV-B radiation, resulting in tanning with less chance of burning compared with earlier devices or sun exposure.1 Its use is associated with acute and chronic health effects; some epidemiologic studies suggest an association between indoor tanning and melanoma or other skin cancers.2-4 Available prevalence estimates for indoor tanning use are outdated,2,5,6 age restricted (eg, to parents with adolescents),7 or industry generated. In this brief report, we describe the prevalence of indoor tanning and associated characteristics among 802 adults from randomly selected households in Minnesota who completed a telephone interview (45% response rate) in 2002 concerning quality of life, employment, and health. Individuals were asked if they had ever used a sun bed, sunlamp, or tanning booth and, if yes, were asked about their age at first use and frequency of use. Sociodemographic information was also collected.