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Scand J Public Health. 2011 Feb;39(1):64-9. doi: 10.1177/1403494810391526.

Vacations to sunny destinations, sunburn, and intention to tan: a cross-sectional study in Denmark, 2007-2009.

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  • 1Danish Cancer Society, Department of Prevention and Documentation, Copenhagen, Denmark. koester_brian@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Denmark has experienced an increase in melanoma incidence since the 1960s. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the main preventable cause of this cancer. We examined current travel to, and sun-related behaviour of Danes at, sunny destinations in relation to their risk for sunburn.

METHOD:

A population-based sample of 11,158 respondents aged 15-59 years completed three questionnaires in 2007-2009 that included items on exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Using logistic regression analysis we examined the relations between sunny vacations, sun-related behaviour, demographic factors and risk for sunburn.

RESULTS:

During 2007-2009, 44.8-45.8% of the respondents travelled to a sunny destination at least once a year; 24% became sunburnt, and 69% tanned intentionally. The odds ratio for sunburn in general for people who went on a sunny vacation as compared with those who did not was 1.6 (1.5-1.7). Sunscreen use (1.9; 1.4-2.6) and intentional tanning (3.4; 2.8-4.1) were positively associated with sunburn on vacation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Taking a vacation in a sunny place is a risk factor for sunburn, especially for young people. The recommendation for sunscreen use should be re-evaluated, as intention to tan is the most important factor in sunburn on vacation and should be targeted more strategically.

PMID:
21266589
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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