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Indoor Tanning Beds/Booths Increase Melanoma Risk

Greater risk with greater number of total hours, sessions, or years spent tanning

THURSDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Use of indoor tanning equipment substantially increases the risk of melanoma, with the highest risk found for people who use high-speed/intensity and high-pressure indoor tanning beds, according to a report published online May 26 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

DeAnn Lazovich, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues sent questionnaires and conducted telephone interviews with 1,167 subjects (aged 25 to 59 years) diagnosed with invasive cutaneous melanoma in Minnesota during 2004 to 2007, and a control group of 1,101 gender- and age-matched subjects from driver's license lists. The groups were asked about their experience with indoor tanning equipment, type of equipment used, age of initiation, length of use, period of use, doses, and any tanning-caused burns.

The researchers found that, among the melanoma group, 62.9 percent of subjects had used indoor tanning equipment compared to 51.1 percent in the control group. Among those who had ever used indoor tanning equipment, there was a 74 percent increased risk of melanoma. Compared to nonusers, the melanoma risk varied by equipment: for high-pressure tanning beds/booths (UVA-emitting devices), adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 4.44; for high-speed or high-intensity tanning beds/booths (UVB-enhanced), aOR, 2.86; for sunlamps, aOR, 1.85; and for conventional tanning equipment, aOR, 1.76. There was a strong dose-response relationship between melanoma risk measured in total hours, sessions, or years spent tanning.

"In a highly exposed population, frequent indoor tanning increased melanoma risk, regardless of age when indoor tanning began. Elevated risks were observed across devices," the authors write.

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