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Frequency of sunburn in Queensland adults: still a burning issue

The impact of skin cancer is disproportionately high due to its extraordinarily high incidence in white populations compared with other cancers. In the United States, skin cancer costs an estimated US$2 billion annually.1 In Australia, skin cancers cost more than other major cancers.2 Sunburn, the acute inflammation caused by excessive exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation, is a determinant of all major skin cancers.3 An estimated 1.3 million skin cancer cases were due to excessive sun exposure4 in the US in 2003, and a regional study in Texas calculated the economic impact of sunburn as over US$10 million annually through lost work and treatment costs.5 Sunburn prevalence (at least one sunburn in the past year) in white US adults aged 18–29 years has been constant for a decade at 66%.6 Men, the young and high-income groups appear susceptible.7 In Australia, weekend sunburn prevalence was 9% overall in Victoria in 20028 but in Queensland in 2004, 70% of surveyed residents aged 20–75 years…