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Nearly 1 in 3 Young White Women Ignoring Tanning Bed Warnings

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- Melanoma skin cancer rates have been increasing, especially among the young, non-Hispanic white female population, a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.

Despite indoor tanning's association with an increased risk of skin cancer, CDC researchers found that non-Hispanic white female high school kids and young adults aged 18 to 24 are still tanning.

"Among those in high school, we saw nearly one in three reported indoor tanning, and among young adults ages 18 to 34, we saw one in four reporting indoor tanning," said Dr. Gery Guy of the CDC.

For the study, the researchers looked at data on over 2,000 participants from the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey and the National Health Interview Survey in 2010 and 2011. The data showed that frequency of use is up, which could mean that previous warnings about tanning beds are not having a large enough impact.

"Among those that reported indoor tanning, frequent use is very common with more than half doing so 10 or more times during the year," Guy said.

Researchers at the CDC are warning against indoor tanning, with specific emphasis on the long-term effects that come with the practice. Dr. Guy says that using a tanning bed can significantly increase your risk of skin cancer before age 35.

"Any change in skin color is a sign of damage from ultra-violet radiation. Repeated exposure to UV radiation -- whether from the sun or tanning beds -- increases your risk for premature skin aging and skin cancer," Guy cautioned.


"The risk of skin cancer is particularly increased among those under the age of 35.  Indoor tanning before that age increases melanoma risk by 75 percent," he said.

If you’re under 25 years old, indoor tanning can increase non-melanoma skin cancer risk by 40 percent to 102 percent.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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