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Tanning Addiction, Behavioral Conditions Linked

J Invest Dermatol; ePub 2018 Feb 23; Miller, et al

Recent findings indicate an appreciable prevalence of tanning addiction among multiethnic adolescents, and suggest the importance of addressing tanning addiction in the context of comorbid behavioral conditions to reduce this high-risk behavior among diverse youth. Researchers performed a cross-sectional study to explore the relationship between tanning addiction, substance use, and psychological conditions among ethnoracially diverse 16-17 year-olds. Tanning addiction was assessed using the modified (m) CAGE measure among 11th grade students in Los Angeles (n=2,637; response rate 78%). Overall, 7.02% of the sample met tanning addiction criteria. They found:

  • Tanning addiction was significantly associated with past 30-day smoking and marijuana use, problem substance use, depression, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and bipolar disorder in regression models.
  • After controlling for all significant substance use and psychological variables, problem marijuana use and OCD remained significantly associated with tanning addiction.
  • Tanning addiction was also significantly associated with multiple problem substance use and behavioral health conditions.


Miller KA, Piombo SE, Cho J, et al. Prevalence of tanning addiction and associations with behavioral health conditions among multiethnic adolescents. [Published online ahead of print February 23, 2018]. J Invest Dermatol. doi:10.1016/j.jid.2018.02.018.

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