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Risky Tanning Behaviors More Common in Hispanic Teens

They use tanning beds more and sunscreen less than non-Hispanic white peers

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- White Hispanic high school students are more than twice as likely to use tanning beds as non-Hispanic white students, and they are also significantly less likely to protect themselves against skin cancer, according to a report in the August issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Fangchao Ma, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and colleagues surveyed 221 white Hispanic and 148 non-Hispanic white high school students in Florida. Questions related to the students' family history of skin cancer, skin type, knowledge of skin cancer and tanning behaviors.

Fewer than 10 percent of white Hispanic students frequently used sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher compared to 18 percent of non-Hispanic white students, while 9 percent of white Hispanic students wore sun-protective clothing most of the time compared to nearly 19 percent of non-Hispanic white students.

"The success of appearance interventions, combined with basic sun safety education and promotion of alternatives to tanning, has been encouraging and needs to be directed to all teenagers," according to an editorial by Ann F. Haas, M.D., of the National Coalition for Sun Safety in Sacramento, Calif.

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