Prevalence and correlates of indoor tanning among US adults

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 May;58(5):769-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2008.01.020. Epub 2008 Mar 6.


Background: Little is known about the prevalence of indoor tanning among the US general adult population.

Objectives: This study sought to: (1) describe the prevalence of indoor tanning throughout adulthood; (2) identify demographic and psychosocial correlates of indoor tanning; and (3) determine whether these correlates vary by age group.

Methods: This study used data from the 2005 National Health Interview Survey, an annual health survey of the US adult population.

Results: Indoor tanning rates were higher among individuals who were young, white, and female. Rates of indoor tanning in the last year varied from 20.4% for those aged 18 to 29 years to 7.8% for those aged 65 years and older. A variety of demographic, health, and behavioral health risk factors correlated with indoor tanning.

Limitations: The study design was cross-sectional and all data were self-reported.

Conclusions: Health care providers should address indoor tanning as a health risk factor across the lifespan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Beauty Culture / methods
  • Beauty Culture / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Skin Pigmentation
  • Sunscreening Agents / therapeutic use
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*
  • Whites


  • Sunscreening Agents