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Demographic Differences in Sun Protection Beliefs and Behavior: A Community-Based Study in Shanghai, China

Department of Dermatology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, China
School of Public Health, Key Lab of Public Health Safety of the Ministry of Education, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China
Department of Dermatology, Suzhou First Hospital, Anhui 234000, China
Xinjing Community Health Service Center, Shanghai 200335, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3232-3245;
Received: 1 November 2014 / Revised: 4 March 2015 / Accepted: 11 March 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
Objective: We want to know the attitudes and behaviors towards UV protection and we want to analyze the difference between different Chinese demographic groups in this study. Methods: A community-based study was undertaken in Shanghai from October 2009 to January 2010. The participants, ages 20–60 years old, were screened by cluster sampling and were investigated through interviews at their own homes. Personal basic information and questions pertaining to their knowledge and attitudes towards sunlight and sun protective activities were included in the questionnaire. Results: We completed 5964 questionnaires (2794 men and 3170 women). Eighty-six percent of the respondents belonged to Fitzpatrick skin type IV. Knowledge about UV-induced risks was known by more than half of the participants. However, only one-third of the participants thought they needed sun protection in winter and indoors or in vehicles, and 27% of the participants acknowledged tanning was not favorable. The attitudes towards sun exposure varied greatly, showing significant differences based on gender, age, socioeconomic groups and skin type groups (p < 0.05). Fifty-five percent of the participants never use an umbrella under sunlight, only 26.5% of the respondents wear hats, and 21.3% of the participants applied sunscreen. Females and individuals of a younger age and higher education level were more likely to perform sun-protective behaviors than males and those of an older age and lower education level (p < 0.001). Conclusion: There is a deficit in the use of sun protection existing in our surveyed Chinese population, especially in males and lower socioeconomic population, which could allow for planning prevention campaigns and exploring sun-preventive products. View Full-Text
Keywords: knowledge; attitudes; behavior; sunburn; ultraviolet rays; skin type knowledge; attitudes; behavior; sunburn; ultraviolet rays; skin type
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Yan, S.; Xu, F.; Yang, C.; Li, F.; Fan, J.; Wang, L.; Cai, M.; Zhu, J.; Kan, H.; Xu, J. Demographic Differences in Sun Protection Beliefs and Behavior: A Community-Based Study in Shanghai, China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 3232-3245.

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