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Risky business: Behaviors associated with indoor tanning in US high school students

  • Author(s): Chapman, Stephanie
  • Ashack, Kurt
  • Bell, Eric
  • Sendelweck, Myra Ann
  • Dellavalle, Robert
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License
Abstract

Background: Understanding of associations between indoor tanning and risky health related behaviors such as sexual activity and substance abuse among high school students across the United States is incomplete.

Objective: To identify risky health related behaviors among high school students utilizing indoor tanning and analyze differences between state specific data.

Methods: Results from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) 2013 in 14 different states were analyzed. Participants were 90,414 high school students. Responses to questions assessing indoor tanning habits, sexual activity, and use of substances were analyzed.

Results: Sexual activity was associated with indoor tanning in 10 of 14 states, with Nebraska having the strongest association (adjusted odds ratio, 3.8; 95% CI, 2.4-6.2; p<0.001). Indoor tanning was also associated with use of alcohol, marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, prescription medications, and cigarettes.

Limitations: Only 15 states asked students about their personal history of indoor tanning use, and Minnesota was excluded from our analysis as they administered a non-YRBS questionnaire. Additionally, our study only analyzed results from the 2013 YRBS. Lastly, our data was analyzed in 14 individual data sets, giving a high likelihood of Type 1 error.

Conclusions: High school students utilizing indoor tanning are more likely to engage in sexual activity and substance abuse as compared to students who do not utilize indoor tanning.

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