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Research Letter
March 2017

Indoor Tanning and Skin Cancer Risk Among Diverse US Youth: Results From a National Sample

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(3):344-345. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.4787

Sexual minority males have one of the highest known prevalence rates of skin cancer, at 4.3% to 6.6% (an increased odds of 1.5 to 2.0) compared with heterosexual males.1 One likely explanation for this health disparity is sexual minority males’ use of indoor tanning, a Group 1 carcinogen.2 Indeed, recent research has found elevated indoor tanning among sexual minority men.3 However, no known studies have examined indoor tanning by sex, sexual orientation, and race/ethnicity, casting uncertainty regarding which groups are most vulnerable for developing skin cancer. Furthermore, no known studies have explored these relationships among youth, a salient limitation, given that indoor tanning before the age of 35 years is associated with disproportionate risk of developing skin cancer.