Vitamin D and sun protection: The impact of mixed public health messages in Australia

Youl, Philippa H., Janda, Monika and Kimlin, Michael (2009) Vitamin D and sun protection: The impact of mixed public health messages in Australia. International Journal of Cancer, 124 8: 1963-1970. doi:10.1002/ijc.24154

Author Youl, Philippa H.
Janda, Monika
Kimlin, Michael
Title Vitamin D and sun protection: The impact of mixed public health messages in Australia
Journal name International Journal of Cancer   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0020-7136
Publication date 2009-04-15
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/ijc.24154
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 124
Issue 8
Start page 1963
End page 1970
Total pages 8
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Abstract Exposure of the skin to sunlight can cause skin cancer and is also necessary for cutaneous Vitamin D production. Media reports have highlighted the purported health benefits of Vitamin D. Our aim was to examine attitudes and behaviours related to sun protection and Vitamin D. A cross-sectional study of 2,001 residents in Queensland, Australia, aged 20–70 years was undertaken. Information collected included the following: skin cancer risk factors; perceptions about levels of sun exposure required to maintain Vitamin D; belief that sun protection increases risk of Vitamin D deficiency; intention, and actual change in sun protection practices for adults and children. Multivariate models examined predictors of attitudinal and behavioural change. One-third (32%) believed a fair-skinned adult, and 31% thought a child required at least 30 min/day in summer sun to maintain Vitamin D levels. Reductions in sun protection were reported by 21% of adults and 14% of children. Factors associated with the belief that sun protection may result in not obtaining enough Vitamin D included age of ≥60 years (OR = 1.35, 95% CI 1.09–1.66) and having skin that tanned easily (OR = 1.96, 95% CI 1.38–2.78). Participants from low-income households, and those who frequently used sun-protective clothing were more likely to have reduced sun protection practices (OR = 1.33, 95% CI 1.10–1.73 and OR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.36–2.20, respectively). This study provides evidence of reductions in sun protection practices in a population living in a high UV environment. There is an urgent need to refocus messages regarding sun exposure and for continued sun protection practices.
Keyword Vitamin D
Skin cancer
Sun protection
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 17 NOV 2008

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Public Health Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 40 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 18:27:19 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Public Health