Results showed that tanning bed use increased skin cancer risk with a dose-response effect. More tanning bed exposure led to higher risks. Compared with nonusers, the risk for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma increased by 15 percent for every four visits made to a tanning booth per year; the risk for melanoma increased by 11 percent.
"The use during high school/college had a stronger effect on the increased risk for basal cell carcinoma compared with use during ages 25 to 35," Zhang said.
"These results have a public health impact on skin cancer prevention for all three types of skin cancer," she said. "[They] can be used to warn the public against future use of tanning beds and to promote restrictions on the indoor tanning industry by policymakers."
In follow-up studies, the researchers plan to monitor skin cancer incidence and to assess the association with tanning bed usage in this cohort during a longer term.