Friday, March 25. 2011
Young white women who live in wealthy neighborhoods may soon have higher health insurance rates, as a study from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California found they are almost five times as likely to develop melanoma than their poorest counterparts.
Researchers analyzed data from a registry of more than 3,800 melanoma cases in white teen girls and women between 15 and 39 years old. After pairing the cancer cases with U.S. census data to determine socioeconomic status, researchers found that the women in the wealthiest 20 percent of California neighborhoods experienced the highest rates of melanoma, a lethal form of skin cancer.
In those neighborhoods, four to five out of every 100,000 young white women were diagnosed with melanoma over a five-year period, compared to one in 100,000 in the poorest areas.
Scientists say wealthier women are more likely to use tanning beds and take vacations in sunny locations, which could account for the higher rates of the disease.
Some women choose to tan for the sake of fashion, despite the health risks. A 2002 study from Indiana University found more than 90 percent of people who used tanning beds were aware the practice could increase the risk of premature aging and skin cancer.
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