National Cancer Institute
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Risk Factor Monitoring & Methods
Cancer Control and Population Sciences

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Sun Exposure: Current Projects

  • We have contributed to NCI's Cancer Progress Reports 2001 and 2003 by describing trends in sun protective behaviors over the 1990s and in 2000. Our data show that 60 percent of adults protected themselves from the sun in 2000, rising after falling earlier in the 1990s.

  • We have published the prevalence of sunburn and its determinants from the 2000 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Cancer Control Module (CCM). We found that 18.5 percent of US adults experienced one sunburn a year, 9.7 percent experience two, and 8.0 percent experience three or more sunburns. Sunburns were found to be more common among men, more common among younger age groups, and more common among those with skin more prone to sunburn. Among individuals who self-identify as white Hispanic or white non-Hispanic, protective behaviors associated with lower rates of one or more sunburns in analyses controlling for other factors are staying in the shade and wearing long-sleeved shirts.

    Hall HI, Saraiya M, Thompson T, Hartman A, Glanz K, Rimer B. Correlates of Sunburn Experience Among U.S. Adults: Results of the 2000 National Health Interview Survey. Public Health Rep 2003 Nov-Dec;118(6):540-9. [View abstract]

  • Also based on the 2000 NHIS CCM we have found that 14.5 percent of US adults had ever had a skin examination conducted by a doctor and only 8.0 percent had a recent skin examination. Recent skin cancer screening exams were more common among white persons who had a family history of melanoma, had higher education, had usual place of care, and were older. Frequent use of sunscreen and hats were each associated with a recent skin cancer exam.

  • Sariaya M, Hall I, Thompson T, Hartman A, Glanz K, Rimer B, Rose D. Skin cancer screening among US adults from 1992, 1998, and 2000 National Health Interview Surveys. Prev Med 2004 Aug;39(2):308-14.[View abstract]

  • We developed a picture show card to be used in survey interviews for increasing respondent understanding of the type of hats that shade the face, ears and neck and thereby obtain more accurate results on the use of sun protective hats. The show card is presently being used in the 2005 NHIS CCM fielding.

  • We will be using the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) to examine trends in sun protective behaviors among various racial/ethnic groups in California.

  • We will also be examining the usefulness of combining sun protective behavior information into composite scores of sun protection and looking at their determinants.

Last modified:
28 Apr 2006
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