(HealthDay News) — Exposure to indoor tanning is common in Western countries, particularly among young persons, according to research published online on January 29 in JAMA Dermatology.

Mackenzie R. Wehner, of the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis to assess the international prevalence of exposure to indoor tanning.

The researchers found that the summary prevalence of ever exposure to indoor tanning among 406,696 participants was 55.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 33.0 to 77.1%) for university students, 35.7% (95 percent CI, 27.5 to 44.0%) for adults, and 19.3% (95% CI, 14.7 to 24.0%) for adolescents. The population proportional attributable risk associated with indoor tanning in Australia, Europe, and the United States was 3.0 to 21.8% (more than 450,000 cases per year) for nonmelanoma skin cancer and 2.6 to 9.4 percent (more than 10,000 cases per year) for melanoma.

“Given the large number of skin cancer cases attributable to indoor tanning, these findings highlight a major public health issue,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Genentech.

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