(HealthDay News) – For organ transplant recipients, patients factors, including sex and skin type, and receipt of advice from health care providers, are both associated with sun protective behaviors.

Noting that organ transplant recipients are at increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancers, Eva Mihalis, of Harvard University in Boston, and associates examined the patient and health care factors associated with sun protective behaviors in organ transplant recipients. Data were obtained from a cross-sectional, retrospective survey of 198 U.S. organ recipients, from 2004–2008, without prior diagnosis of skin cancer.

The researchers observed a significant increase in overall use of sunscreen after transplantation. In multivariable models, the frequency of post-transplant sunscreen use correlated significantly with sex, Fitzpatrick skin type, pre-transplant use, and receiving advice to avoid sun from a health care provider. Post-transplant sun avoidance correlated significantly with pre-transplantation sun exposure, advice to avoid sun, and pre-transplant sunscreen use.

“Both patient features and clinician advice are associated with sun protective behaviors after organ transplantation,” the authors write. “These results help physicians target expanded sun protection counseling to those patients most in need of such intervention.”

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