Navigation Links
Survey: 'Tanorexia' common among university students
Date:9/2/2008

PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 2, 2008) -- A new study conducted at a large university finds more than 25 percent of those surveyed reported symptoms of tanning dependence, including symptoms similar to alcohol and drug-addicted individuals. Suggestively, the study also found those with a tanning dependence tend to be more likely to be thin and smoke cigarettes than others. The study by researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center is published in the September/October issue of the American Journal of Health Behavior.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, accounting for half of all human cancers with over a million new cases diagnosed yearly in the United States. It is reported that up to 90 percent of all skin cancers are associated with ultraviolet radiation.

For the study, Heckman and her colleagues set out to understand what proportion of college students report problems with tanning dependence and whether there are shared behaviors among those considered to be tanning dependent and those with other forms of addiction.

"Adolescents and young adults tend to put themselves at risk for later skin cancer by exposing themselves to high levels of ultraviolet radiation, so by understanding some possible reasons why, we hope to develop innovative interventions to help prevent these risky behaviors," explains Carolyn Heckman, Ph.D., an associate member at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Heckman and her colleagues recruited 400 students and other volunteers at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia during the spring semester of 2006. Participants took part in an online survey utilizing items adapted from questionnaires used to measure traditional substance abuse and dependence. The measures assess tolerance to tanning (the need to tan increasingly frequently), withdrawal from tanning (discomfort when not having tanned recently), and difficulty controlling the behavior despite awareness of its negative impact such as freckles, wrinkles, pre-cancerous lesions, etc.

The survey included questions such as "Do you think you need to spend more and more time in the sun to maintain your perfect tan?", "Do you continue tanning so your tan will not fade?" and "Does this [your belief that tanning can cause skin cancer] keep you from spending time in the sun or going to tanning beds?" Participants were queried about their level of intentional and incidental sun exposure, tanning booth use, and chemical sunless tanner use. The survey also asked about health-related behaviors such as body mass index, smoking, and exercise.

"The media and lay public may know tanning dependence as 'tanorexia,' alluding to similarities to both substance addictions and body image disorders like anorexia," Heckman says. "There is some evidence that UV tanning dependence may have biological underpinnings like other addictions such as the production of endorphins as in the 'runner's high.'"

Heckman adds: "We were surprised to find that 27 percent of those we surveyed were classified as tanning dependent. The finding that almost 40 percent of those surveyed had used tanning booths and that the mean age when tanning booths were first used was 17 is also alarming."

Interestingly, sun tanning appeared to be more closely related to tanning dependence than indoor tanning, though use of indoor tanning during warm weather also signaled tanning dependence.

Finally, the researchers say that those addicted to tanning were more likely to be thin and smoke cigarettes than others, suggesting meaningful avenues for further research into possible links among risky behaviors.

"Our ultimate goal is to find out more about the motivations for tanning so that we can develop interventions that would reduce tanning and hopefully skin cancer," Heckman concludes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen Mallet
karen.mallet@fccc.edu
215-728-2700
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. ICMA/CIGNA Survey: U.S. Cities and Counties Begin to Focus on Health Risks and Costs
2. Survey: Many Older Physicians Plan to Opt Out of Patient Care
3. Parents survey: Perceptions of the duration of their childs ADHD medication
4. Survey: Two-thirds of Illinois public schools provide comprehensive sex education
5. Survey: Massachusetts Employers, Employees Paying Most for Health Care Plans
6. Survey: 35% of Baby Boomer Nurses Plan a Career Change in the Next One to Three Years
7. Survey: Most People Unsure About Cloned Food
8. Guardian Survey: Despite Perceived Effectiveness, Most Employees Who Participate in Wellness Programs Do Not Stay Committed
9. National Healthcare Decisions Survey: Its Easier to Talk About Drugs and Sex Than End-of-Life Planning
10. 18th Annual Retirement Confidence Survey:(R) Workers Show Record Drop in Retirement Confidence, Health Care and Economy Are Major Concerns
11. Survey: Employers Have High Confidence They Can Control Health Care Costs With Proper Tools
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/17/2017)... Rancho Palos Verdes, CA (PRWEB) , ... February ... ... well-being, and emotional flow is Dr. Carol Francis' goals for each ... Federation Retreat Conference, Dr. Carol Francis will demonstrate five different brainwave tools which ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., February 19-23. Visitors to the company’s booth ... most widely used electronic patient signatures solution in healthcare . , Since ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... clinical operations executives and focusing on all facets of clinical trial planning and ... management , patient engagement, and more. In addition, attendees stopping by Pharmica’s booth ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) , ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... ways to reduce readmissions. Driven in large part by the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program ... has been a key focus area for hospitals across the nation. While many providers ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... 17, 2017 , ... Dillon Ruxton Insurance, a Florida-based agency ... in the greater Fort Lauderdale metropolitan region, is embarking on a cooperative food ... years, LifeNet 4 Families has provided a broad range of food provision services ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... 16, 2017  AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies ... that Vincent J. Angotti has been ... the company,s board of directors, effective Monday, March ... of experience leading executive and commercial teams at ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017  Prescription pain medications ... department visit are necessary for long-term opioid use to ... Feb. 16 th edition of The New ... "Emergency physicians see more patients in acute pain than ... Parker , MD, FACEP, president of the American College ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb 16, 2017 Research and ... Cancer Diagnostics Market Analysis & Trends - Function, Application, Cancer Type, ... ... Generation Cancer Diagnostics Market is poised to grow at a CAGR ... million by 2025. Some of the prominent ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: