The epidemiology of sunburn in the US population in 2003.

Research paper by Tamu T TT Brown, Rhonda D RD Quain, Andrea B AB Troxel, Joel M JM Gelfand

Indexed on: 03 Oct '06Published on: 03 Oct '06Published in: Journal of The American Academy of Dermatology


Sunburn is a major preventable risk factor for skin cancer.We investigated risk factors for sunburn in the United States based on the 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.A random sample of 207,776 respondents provided data for the population-based survey. The main outcome measure was any report of sunburn within the previous 12 months.Overall, 39% of respondents had at least one sunburn. The strongest factors associated with sunburn were age and socioeconomic factors. Sunburn prevalence was greatest in respondents 18 to 24 years old (61%). This group was more likely to have a sunburn than respondents 45 to 54 years of age (odds ratio [OR] = 2.76). Higher income and higher levels of education were positively associated with sunburn (OR 1.67 and 1.63, respectively). Individuals reporting recent binge drinking had a higher prevalence of sunburn (OR = 1.33).The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System does not include data on skin type or sun protection behavior; therefore the impact of these factors was not assessed.Sunburn occurs at a very high rate in the United States.