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    #1241: Tanning bed ultraviolet light may be addictive

    From World Science:
    Link: http://www.world-science.net/othernews/100420_tanningIs indoor [ultraviolet] tanning addictive?

    April 20, 2010
    Courtesy of JAMA/Archives Journals
    and World Science staff

    Might gossip mag­a­zines soon start fea­tur­ing tales of TV and Holly­wood per­son­al­ities go­ing in­to “tan­ning re­hab”?

    A new re­port claims in­door tan­ning””al­ready linked by studies to can­cer and fast­er skin ag­ing””may al­so be ad­dic­tive.

    And while the re­port stops short of rec­om­mend­ing re­ha­bilita­t­ion for se­ri­al tan­ners, it does sug­gest “mo­tiva­t­ional in­ter­view­ing” and treat­ment of un­der­ly­ing mood dis­or­ders as a way to help those who may be hooked.

    Tan­ners who meet cri­te­ria for ad­dic­tion appear to be prone to symp­toms of anx­i­e­ty and sub­stance use, adds the re­port, pub­lished in the April is­sue of the re­search jour­nal Ar­chives of Der­ma­tol­o­gy.

    “De­spite ongo­ing ef­forts to ed­u­cate the pub­lic” about the risks of both na­tur­al and in­door tan­ning, “recrea­t­ional tan­ning con­tin­ues to in­crease among young adults,” the au­thors wrote. While cit­ing no spe­ci­fic chem­i­cal pro­cess that might cause tan­ning ad­dict­ion, they pointed to “the de­sire for ap­pear­ance en­hance­ment… re­laxa­t­ion, im­proved mood and so­cial­iz­a­tion” as fac­tors that keep hab­i­tual tan­ners com­ing back for more.

    “Giv­en these re­in­force­ments, re­peat­ed ex­po­sure to ul­tra­vi­o­let light used in tan­ning may re­sult in be­hav­ior pat­terns si­m­i­lar to those ob­served seen sub­stance-related dis­or­ders,” the au­thors wrote.

    The au­thors, Cath­er­ine Mosher of Me­mo­ri­al Sloan-Kettering Can­cer Cen­ter and Shar­on Dan­off-Burg of the Uni­vers­ity at Al­ba­ny, both in New York, re­cruited 421 col­lege stu­dents in 2006. Two writ­ten ques­tion­naires typ­ic­ally used to screen for al­co­hol abuse or sub­stance-related dis­or­ders were mod­i­fied to eval­u­ate stu­dents for ad­dic­tion to in­door tan­ning. Par­ti­ci­pants were al­so as­sessed us­ing stand­ard­ized meas­ures of anx­i­e­ty, de­pres­sion and sub­stance use.

    Among 229 par­ti­ci­pants who had used in­door tan­ning facil­i­ties, the av­er­age num­ber of vis­its in the past year was 23, the re­search­ers found. Out of two meas­ures of ad­dict­ion, 39 per­cent of stu­dents met cri­te­ria for tan­ning ad­dic­tion on one, and 31 per­cent met cri­te­ria on the oth­er, Mosher and Da­noff-Burg said. Stu­dents who met the cri­te­ria were al­so found to be like­li­er to re­port symp­toms of anx­i­e­ty and use of al­co­hol, ma­ri­jua­na and oth­er sub­stances.

    The “re­sults sug­gest that treat­ing an un­der­ly­ing mood dis­or­der may be a nec­es­sary step in re­duc­ing skin can­cer risk among those who fre­quently tan in­doors,” the au­thors wrote. “Re­search­ers have hy­poth­e­sized that those who tan reg­u­larly year round may re­quire more in­ten­sive in­ter­ven­tion ef­forts, such as mo­tiva­t­ional in­ter­view­ing,” they con­tin­ued.

    “Fur­ther re­search should eval­u­ate the use­ful­ness of in­cor­po­rat­ing a brief anx­i­e­ty and de­pres­sion screen­ing for in­di­vid­u­als who tan in­doors. Pa­tients with anx­i­e­ty or de­pres­sion could be re­ferred to men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als for di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment.”

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