Nationwide Analysis on Intentional Indoor and Outdoor Tanning: Prevalence and Correlates

Katharina Diehl, Eckhard W. Breitbart, Rüdiger Greinert, Joel Hillhouse, Jerod L. Stapleton, Tatiana Görig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Outdoor and indoor tanning are considered as risk factors for the development of skin cancer. The aims of this nationwide representative study were to quantify both behaviors in a sample with a wide age range, to identify those showing both behaviors and to explore and compare determinants of both behaviors. We used data from the fifth wave (2019) of the National Cancer Aid Monitoring (NCAM). We surveyed the representative sample including 4000 individuals, aged 16–65 years, living in Germany. Data were collected through telephone interviews. In addition to descriptive statistics, we used logistic regression analyses to identify determinants. The one-year-prevalence of tanning bed use was 7.5%, while 31.9% tanned (very) often intentionally outdoors in at least one situation (weekdays, holidays, and weekends). A total of 3.2% reported both risk behaviors. Regression analyses revealed that tanning bed use is associated with employment, an increased number of naevi, and lack of risk awareness. Intentional outdoor tanning was associated with male sex, younger age, past tobacco use, and low risk awareness of UV radiation. Our findings suggest that only a minority of subjects showed both risk behaviors. This implies that individuals seem to perform either one behavior or the other. In addition, the associated determinants differed between both behaviors, implying that specific preventive measures tailored to address to each tanning behavior are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12309
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • determinants
  • intentional tanning
  • outdoor tanning
  • sunbathing
  • sunbeds
  • tanning beds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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