One Equal World

Tanning Bed Use Higher for Gay Men, Higher Rates of Skin Cancer

Posted on: October 8, 2015

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

There’s a new study indicating that sexual orientation could put you at higher risk for skin cancer when using indoor tanning devices. The study was published in JAMA Dermatology on October 7th.

The results of this study was a review of state and federal government data that involved almost 78,500 adult straight men and more than 3,000 gay and bisexual men. The study found that gay and bisexual men were six times more likely to use indoor tanning devices than straight men.

The study’s co-author said, “Overall, the rate of indoor tanning among these men is between three to six times greater than it is among heterosexual men”. Lesbians and bisexual women are 43 to 46 more likely to go indoor tanning than heterosexual women. Dr. Matthew Mansh, is an intern in the department of internal medicine at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have cautioned for years that indoor tanning is not safer than unprotected outdoor sun exposure. Every year, indoor tanning is linked to around 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the United States, according to data cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Aaron Blashill, author of an editorial accompanying the study and assistant professor in psychology at San Diego State University said, “There currently aren’t any known public health interventions targeting tanning or skin cancer among these sexual minorities.”


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