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Systematic review and meta-analysis
Sunbed use increases risk of melanoma; risk increases with greater number of sessions and first use at younger age
  1. Veronique Bataille
  1. Dermatology Department, West Herts NHS Trust, Hemel Hemspstead, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Veronique Bataille
    Dermatology Department, West Herts NHS Trust, Hillfield Road, Hemel Hemspstead HP2 4AD, UK; bataille{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • To date, ultraviolet (UV) exposure is the only environmental factor associated with an increased risk of melanoma.

  • There is therefore a need to ensure that the risks associated with artificial UV exposure are quantified.

  • There has been some controversy regarding the association between melanoma and sunbed exposure as some studies have shown positive associations while others have not.


Melanoma has long been linked to UV exposure and this has been established via case-control studies and cohort studies including migration studies from Australia and Europe as well as laboratory studies on animal models. Most case-control studies have shown that exposure to natural sunlight is associated with an increased risk of melanoma, especially for exposure before the age of 35 years and overall relative risk of 1.75.1 Artificial UV exposure has also been of interest …

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  • Competing interests None.