A study of college coed students indicates that some people may be addicted to UV light.

In the report entitled “UV light abuse and high-risk tanning behavior among undergraduate college students,” published in the March 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, dermatologist Robin L. Hornung, MD, MPH, FAAD, at the University of Washington and the Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, used a standardized testing tool to gauge the presence of a substance-related disorder (SRD) as a means to determine whether some college students could be hooked on tanning.

Hornung and her collaborator, Solmaz Poorsattar, MD, asked a total of 385 male and female college students at the University of Washington to complete a multiple-choice questionnaire that included questions about their personal tanning practices and those of their family and friends. In addition, four questions in the survey also comprised a modified version of the “cut down, annoyed, guilty, eye-opener” (CAGE) questionnaire tool.
CAGE, a proven testing tool most often used to identify SRD with regard to alcohol, was used to determine whether participants showed SRD symptoms for UV light. Only students who reported purposely tanning were asked to complete this portion of the questionnaire.

Of the 385 students who participated in the study, 80% of female students reported purposely tanning their skin, versus 60% of male students. In addition, 40% of the female students reported using indoor tanning devices compared to only 20% of the male students.

When the responses to the CAGE questions were examined, 20% of the students who reported regularly tanning in outdoor sunlight and 30% of indoor tanners scored positively on the CAGE questions, indicating SRD with regard to UV light. Of the students who reported purposely tanning their skin, 20% of female outdoor tanners had positive CAGE results, compared with only10% of male outdoor tanners.

[www.newswise.com, March 12, 2007]