HealthDay News — Tanning bed use in early adulthood is associated with an increased risk for endometriosis, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in Human Reproduction.

Leslie V. Farland, ScD, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and colleagues examined the potential associations between ultraviolet radiation and endometriosis risk in a prospective cohort of 116,429 female US nurses from the Nurses’ Health Study II. Self-reported measures of recreational sun exposure and geocoded residential ultraviolet exposure in childhood and adulthood were examined in relation to laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis.

The researchers identified 4,791 incident cases of laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis among 1,252,248 person-years. Positive associations with the risk for endometriosis were seen for tanning bed use during high school/college (at least 6 times per year vs never use: hazard ratio, 1.19) and at ages 25 to 35 years (hazard ratio, 1.24), and for the number of sunburns during adolescence and percentage of time using sunscreen in adulthood. Associations with a decreased risk for endometriosis were seen for residential ultraviolet level at birth, at age 15 years, and at age 30 years (highest vs lowest quintile: hazard ratios, 0.81, 0.79, and 0.90, respectively).

“This study reinforces the advice to avoid using tanning beds and suggests that there may be an additional benefit of reducing the risk of endometriosis,” Farland said in a statement.


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