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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 141; doi:10.3390/ijerph13010141

Sun Exposure Prevalence and Associated Skin Health Habits: Results from the Austrian Population-Based UVSkinRisk Survey

1
Institute of Environmental Health, Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Kinderspitalgasse 15, Vienna A-1090, Austria
2
Institute of Meteorology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Peter-Jordan-Straße 82, Vienna A-1190, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 4 December 2015 / Revised: 13 January 2016 / Accepted: 14 January 2016 / Published: 19 January 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [273 KB, uploaded 19 January 2016]

Abstract

Recreational sun exposure accounts for a large number of acute and chronic dermatological diseases, including skin cancer. This study aimed at estimating the one-year prevalence of sun exposure and skin health-associated knowledge and attitudes among Austrian citizens. The population-based UVSkinRisk survey investigated a representative sample of Austrian adults using a structured questionnaire. In total, 1500 study subjects (median age 33.0 years, 50.5% females) participated in this questionnaire survey. Among study participants, prevalence of sun exposure was 47%, with slightly higher rates in males (48%) compared to females (46%). Younger age, lower professional category, darker skin type, motives to tan, sunbed use, sunburn, and outdoor sport activity increased the odds for prevalent sun exposure. This is the first population-based study evaluating the prevailing sun exposure and recreational habits influencing skin health among Austrian citizens. Despite public media campaigns educating on the harmful effects of sunlight exposure, we found a high prevalence of self-reported sunlight exposure. The results suggest that multifaceted socio-cultural characteristics stimulate recreational sun exposure and tanning habits. Communicating individualized Public (Skin) Health messages might be the key to prevent photo-induced skin health hazards in light-skinned populations. The practical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: public health; preventive medicine; sunlight exposure; photo-protective behavior public health; preventive medicine; sunlight exposure; photo-protective behavior
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Haluza, D.; Simic, S.; Moshammer, H. Sun Exposure Prevalence and Associated Skin Health Habits: Results from the Austrian Population-Based UVSkinRisk Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 141.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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