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Research Letter
August 2014

Sun Protection Behaviors Among Puerto Rican Adults

Author Affiliations
  • 1Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey University, New Brunswick
  • 2Department of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • 3Department of Health Education and Behavioral Science, Rutgers School of Public Health, Piscataway, New Jersey
  • 4Department of Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark
  • 5University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Juan
JAMA Dermatol. 2014;150(8):899-901. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.8852

The incidence of skin cancer has been increasing among US Hispanics for several decades. Hispanic individuals residing in the continental United States do not sufficiently engage in routine sun protection behaviors.1-3 Hispanics are an important population to target for skin cancer prevention research and public health initiatives. However, there is a dearth of such efforts focusing on Hispanic populations outside the continental United States. From 1974 to 2005, the skin cancer incidence in Puerto Rico increased 4-fold, from 41.5 per 100 000 individuals to 167.9 per 100 000.4 The Puerto Rican population is 99% Hispanic, and most individuals report their race as white (75.8%) or black/African American (12.4%). Using data from the population-based 2009 Health Information National Trends Survey Puerto Rico (HINTS-PR),5 we examined the prevalence and demographic correlates of sun protection behaviors among Puerto Rican adults.