Sunbed use among 64,000 Danish students and the associations with demographic factors, health-related behaviours, and appearance-related factors
Sunbed use is associated with an increased risk for skin cancer and is particularly dangerous for younger persons. The objective of this study was to assess how demographic factors, health-related behaviours and appearance-related factors are associated with sunbed use. Cross-sectional data from the Danish National Youth Study collected by the National Institute of Public Health during 2014 was used. A total of 64,382 students aged 15-25years were included in the present study. Multilevel logistic regression analyses were used to determine associations. Sunbed use during the past 12months was reported by 22% of students, with a higher proportion among females (29%) than males (12%). Factors associated with sunbed use were older age, studying at a vocational college or a higher preparatory examination school compared to upper secondary school, and lower parental education. Furthermore, being a smoker, been binge-drinking, longer duration of exercise and been dieting were also associated with sunbed use. For females, poor dietary habits were also associated with sunbed use. Feeling overweight was associated with lower odds for sunbed use for males, but with higher odds for females. Lower body satisfaction was associated with higher odds of sunbed use, except for overweight males. Students who were underweight had lower odds for sunbed use, than normal weight students. Conclusively, we found evidence of associations between demographic factors, health-related behaviours and appearance-related factors and sunbed use. Understanding these relations could help to identify high-risk groups and guide preventive strategies for sunbed use and skin cancer prevention.