By ANAHAD O'CONNOR
Despite warnings about skin cancer, about a third of the young and adult white women in a new study said they used tanning beds, and many were using them frequently. Tanning beds are widely believed to have played a large role in the increasing rates of skin cancer in recent decades. The most serious type, melanoma, has risen sharply among young white women in particular.
The new study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, sought to document the prevalence of tanning bed use among white female high school students and white women ages 18 to 34.
It found that among the high school students, 30 percent had used a tanning bed in the previous year, and 17 percent had reported doing so at least 10 times, which was considered frequent use. Among those in the older group, a quarter had engaged in indoor tanning in the previous year, and 15 percent were classified as frequent users. In both groups, the practice was most common in the South and Midwest.
The authors of the report noted that indoor tanning before the age of 35 increases melanoma risk by up to 75 percent, and that the risk increases by roughly 2 percent with each additional tanning session per year.
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