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Scand J Public Health. 2013 Dec;41(8):812-7. doi: 10.1177/1403494813496601. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

Sunbed use and cutaneous melanoma in Norway.

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1Department of Radiation Biology, Institute for Cancer Research, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo University Hospital, Montebello, Oslo, Norway.



Incidence rates of cutaneous melanoma (CM) in light skinned people in Norway are among the highest in the world. Sunbed use has increased in Norway since 1980. We will try to elucidate whether there is any correlation between the increase in sunbed use and the CM incidence rates, whether the increase in CM risk is similar for all age groups, and whether the possible difference between young and old persons can inform future healthcare strategies.


The frequency of sunbed use by different age groups in the time period 1980-2011 and incidence rates (1980-2009) of CM at different age groups in Norway were studied. Time in minutes per day spent in front of screen of computers or TVs for boys and girls was also analysed.


The number of sunbed sessions per year in Norway increased throughout the entire period. The number of men and women diagnosed with CM per year, all ages combined, also increased. Sunbed use increased at a similar rate for three age groups (0-19, 20-50, and >50 years old), while the age-adjusted CM incidence rate increased only for the oldest group. Time spent in front of the screen of computers or TVs increased from 1985 to 2005 and is still increasing.


CM incidence is decreasing while sunbed use is increasing in younger age groups. The present data indicate that more work needs to be done before one can know whether the overall health effects of sunbed exposure are positive or negative.


Cutaneous melanoma; Norway; epidemiology; sunbed

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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