Golfing may DOUBLE risk of skin cancer, study indicates
Playing golf may raise the risk of skin cancer, a study suggests.
Researchers in Australia found that over a quarter of regular golfers have been diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their lives.
After adjusting for other risk factors such as age, sex, and smoking status, they found golfers were two and a half times more likely to be diagnosed than the rest of the population.
They said that repeated exposure to the sun and not wearing enough sunscreen was probably the reason for the higher risk.
In the study, some 27 percent of golf participants had been diagnosed with skin cancer compared to seven percent of the general population
Researchers from the University of South Australia in Adelaide analyzed health information from an online survey of 336 players which began in 2018.
Only people who played golf at least once a month were included.
The players’ responses were compared to the health information of almost 16,000 Australians in the general public who had participated in the Australian Health Survey, which takes place every four years.
Some 27 percent of golf participants had been diagnosed with skin cancer compared to seven percent of the general population.
After adjusting for age, sex, education and smoking status, Aussie players were 2.4 times more likely to get skin cancer than their non-golfing peers.
Lead study author Brad Stenner emphasized it is possible that older golfers may have been exposed to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays before they started playing golf and are only now experiencing the impact.
He also highlighted that his team did not collect data to do with actual levels of exposure to UV radiation (UVR).
Nevertheless, UVR exposure is a ‘very well-established cause’ of skin cancer, Stenner said.
He said his research team found ‘a significantly higher risk, which we believe is associated with prolonged sun exposure and/or not using skin-protection strategies.’
Ashani Weeraratna, professor and chair of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore, who was not part of the study, told UPI that ‘the dynamics should be roughly the same’ for skin cancer risk and sun exposure, despite the location or reason for spending time outside.
The findings were published in the journal BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine.
Worldwide, one in every three cancers is skin-related, with around two to three million non-melanoma skin cancers and roughly 132,000 potentially deadly melanoma skin cancers diagnosed every year.