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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


GALAN, Iñaki; RODRIGUEZ-LASO, Ángel; DIEZ-GANAN, Lucía  and  CAMARA, Enrique. Prevalence and correlates of skin cancer risk behaviors in Madrid (Spain). Gac Sanit [online]. 2011, vol.25, n.1, pp.44-49. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To estimate the prevalence and correlates of skin cancer-related behaviors in a representative sample of the population of the region of Madrid (Spain). Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study based on a telephone survey. A total of 2,007 participants aged 18-64 years completed a questionnaire that included items on knowledge about the risk of skin cancer, sun exposure, the use of ultraviolet (UV) lamps and sunburn during the previous year. Logistic regression models were constructed, adjusted for gender, age, educational level and employment status. Results: Sun exposure as a risk factor for skin cancer was identified by 92.3% of participants and artificial tanning by 73.6%. Knowledge of risk factors was greater among university graduates and women (P<.001). A total of 14.6% were usually exposed to the sun in the summer during the hours of maximum UV radiation, while 4.3% had used UV lamps during the previous year; the use of these lamps was more frequent among women (P<.001) and young people (P<.05). The prevalence of sunburn was 13.2% and was lower among women: odds ratio (OR) 0.68 (95% CI: 0.51-0.90); this prevalence declined with greater age (p linear trend <0.001) and was higher among students: OR 1.60 (95% CI: 1.07-2.40). Conclusions: Numerous sociodemographic factors are related to UV radiation exposure and sunburn, with young people at highest risk. UV exposure is more frequent among women, whereas sunburn is more common among men.

Keywords : Ultraviolet rays; Skin neoplasms; Health surveys.

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