Gay and bisexual men are more likely to develop skin cancer than their heterosexual counterparts due to their increased use of sunbeds, say researchers.
The study of almost 200,000 adults, conducted by dermatological experts at the University of California, San Francisco, found that gay and bisexual men were six times more likely to take part in indoor tanning and twice as likely to develop skin cancer.
Skin cancer rates among gay and bisexual men ranged between 4.3% and 6.7%, whereas the rates among heterosexual men ranged between 2.7% and 3.2%.
Lesbians had half the risk of developing skin cancer than heterosexual woman, reports The Telegraph.
“One likely cause of more skin cancer among gay and bisexual men is greater exposure to ultraviolet radiation caused by indoor tanning,“ said lead researcher Dr Sarah Arron, associate professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco.
“Our hope is that this finding will help increase awareness among health care providers that gay and bisexual men constitute a high-risk population for skin cancer, which in turn will lead to increased public health education and more diligent skin cancer screening in this group of men,” added Dr Arron.
The authors used data from California Health Interview Surveys, conducted every two years between 2001 and 2009. The findings were published in JAMA Dermatology.
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