Women under 40 who started indoor tanning at a younger age and tanned more often have a higher risk of being diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, a new study shows.
University of Minnesota researchers wanted to look at the relationship between melanoma in younger adults and indoor tanning because they’re seeing more and more women and men under age 50 with the condition, said study author DeAnn Lazovich, an associate professor in the School of Public Health and the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota.
The authors were particularly interested in younger women’s indoor tanning habits because rates of skin cancer are rising notably in this population, she said.
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The study included 681 patients diagnosed with melanoma between 2004 and 2007, and 654 patients without skin cancer, whose ages ranged from 25 to 49 years old.
Among the patients with melanoma, 68.3 percent were women.
The researchers found that women were two to six times more likely to develop melanoma if they had tanned indoors, Lazovich told CBS News.
Compared with women ages 40 to 49, women younger than 40 reported starting indoor tanning at a younger age (at 16 years old, versus 25) and they reported more frequent indoor tanning (an average of 100 sessions, versus 40), the study revealed.