Indoor Tanning Dependence in Young Adult Women

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2017 Nov;26(11):1636-1643. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-0403. Epub 2017 Oct 19.


Background: There is mounting evidence that young people can develop a dependence on indoor tanning, but research on factors associated with indoor tanning dependence remains limited.Methods: This cross-sectional study investigated factors associated with indoor tanning dependence in a community sample of 389 non-Hispanic white young adult women ages 18 to 30 who had indoor tanned ≥1 time in the past year. Participants completed measures of indoor tanning dependence, including the modified CAGE and modified Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders-IV psychiatric screening assessments, indoor tanning behavior and beliefs, and behavioral and psychiatric comorbidity.Results: Overall, 22.6% of the sample screened positive for indoor tanning dependence. In multivariable analyses, indoor tanning dependence was associated with younger age of indoor tanning initiation [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.79; P = 0.017], indoor tanning ≥20 times in the past year (aOR = 3.03; P = 0.015), stronger beliefs about the benefits of tanning (aOR = 2.15; P = 0.004), greater perceived susceptibility to indoor tanning risks (aOR = 2.72; P < 0.001), stronger beliefs about physical appearance (aOR = 1.73; P = 0.037), and depressive symptoms (aOR = 3.79; P < 0.001).Conclusions: Indoor tanning dependence among young, non-Hispanic white women is associated with behaviors that increase the risk of skin cancer, beliefs favoring the perceived benefits of tanning, and comorbid risks such as stronger beliefs about physical appearance and depressed mood.Impact: Comprehensive skin cancer prevention efforts should address indoor tanning dependence among young women and its leading risk factors. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 26(11); 1636-43. ©2017 AACR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beauty Culture
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Culture*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mood Disorders / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Skin Pigmentation / radiation effects*
  • Sunbathing / psychology*
  • Sunbathing / statistics & numerical data
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects
  • Young Adult