Study: Some May Be Addicted to Tanning

NEW YORK, April 20 (UPI) — A U.S. study involving 421 college students found about a third who use tanning beds may become addicted, researchers said.

Dr. Catherine Mosher of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Dr. Sharon Danoff-Burg of University at Albany recruited study participants from September through December 2006 from a large northeastern U.S. university.

The researchers modified two screening instrument — one to screen for alcoholism and another to screen for substance-related disorders — to evaluate study participants for addiction to indoor tanning.

In addition, the researchers measured for of anxiety and depression.

The study, published in the Archives of Dermatology, found among 229 study participants who had used indoor tanning facilities, 39.3 percent met the criteria for tanning addiction using one measurement instrument and 30.6 percent met the criteria for addiction to indoor tanning using the other measurement instrument. In addition, the study participants also showed symptoms of anxiety and depression.

“The findings suggest that interventions to reduce skin cancer risk should address the addictive qualities of indoor tanning for a minority of individuals and the relationship of this behavior to other addictions and affective disturbance,” the study said.

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