A recent report conducted by the CDC has concluded that indoor tanning use is on decline in the US, which shows great progress on the matter.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently issued a report based on the data collected through the National Health Interview Survey between 2011 and 2013.
Dr. Gery P. Guy Jr. of the CDC’s Atlanta Office has led the research project on the indoor tanning use rates among Americans and it has compiled data from 59,145 people who took the organization’s survey on national health.
After centralizing the data, analyzing it in accordance to specific criteria and then extrapolating the results, Dr. Guy has concluded that there is an overall decrease in tanning bed use among US citizens, which could be easily explained through the effect of the awareness campaigns that appear to have struck a chord in some Americans.
Thus, the study revealed a 2.7 % decrease in people included in the 18-29 age category, from 11.3 % to 8.6%, which should be considered a progress. As for gender specific results, they vary in accordance to age and physical activity status. Overall, the tanning bed use rates associated with women decreased from 8.3% to 5.6 % and so did those associated with men, from 2.2% to 1.7 %.
Despite the fact that there was an overall trend of decrease, there have been some categories where the trend seemed be getting more intense rather than decline. The men included in the 40 to 49 age group displayed a tendency for increase which resulted in a whopping 177% increase in tanning bed use. Also, the men from the 50 and up group showed an increase trend of 71%.
On the other hand, it seems that women’s indoor tanning use rates were on the decrease among college graduates, with 45% lower rates. Furthermore, among women who normally have a fit and healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly, 23% fewer seemed to choose artificial tanning.
While these results undoubtedly constitute an important progress, the CDC report has revealed that there are still 7.8 million women and 1.9 million men who choose to engage in artificial tanning, despite the fact that this process has been linked to a high risk for the development of skin cancer.
These results reveal that the awareness campaigns that have been conducted so far have successfully reached certain groups of people, and those should continue on the same path. However, there are some age groups who seem to not be fully aware of the risks associated with this practice.
This might be the case because the means of transmission that was utilized has proven to be unsuccessful. Therefore, future campaigns might need to focus much more on how to transmit their message, so that it actually reaches its target audience in the end.
“10 million adults are trading a tan for an increased risk of skin cancer every year. (…) The tan is temporary, but the risk is permanent.” said Dr. Guy of the CDC.
Further work will need to be conducted until tanning bed use rates become nonexistent, because the heath threat associated with this practice is immense. In the end, the effects achieved through this practice are incomparably less important than the consequences.
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