Sampling surveys: sunbed use in children
Two surveys found high prevalence of tanning in UK children
- By: Wim Weber
The incidence of malignant melanoma is rising faster than that of any other cancer in the United Kingdom, rates having more than quadrupled since the 1970s. Increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation is thought to be an important factor, and it is known that sunbed use before the age of 35 increases the risk of developing malignant melanoma by 75%. It is thus thought that more use of sunbeds by children may be an important cause of this increase in melanoma.
Several studies have already documented the use of sunbeds by children younger than 18 in the UK, but these were small and involved selected populations. This study was undertaken with three specific questions.
The National Prevalence Study used a sample taken by a private market research agency. It does weekly interviews with a nationally representative sample of 250 7-19 year olds each month throughout Great Britain. To select this sample,