Birth cohort-specific trends of sun-related behaviors among individuals from an international consortium of melanoma-prone families

on behalf of the GenoMEL Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Individuals from melanoma-prone families have similar or reduced sun-protective behaviors compared to the general population. Studies on trends in sun-related behaviors have been temporally and geographically limited. Methods: Individuals from an international consortium of melanoma-prone families (GenoMEL) were retrospectively asked about sunscreen use, sun exposure (time spent outside), sunburns, and sunbed use at several timepoints over their lifetime. Generalized linear mixed models were used to examine the association between these outcomes and birth cohort defined by decade spans, after adjusting for covariates. Results: A total of 2407 participants from 547 families across 17 centers were analyzed. Sunscreen use increased across subsequent birth cohorts, and although the likelihood of sunburns increased until the 1950s birth cohort, it decreased thereafter. Average sun exposure did not change across the birth cohorts, and the likelihood of sunbed use increased in more recent birth cohorts. We generally did not find any differences in sun-related behavior when comparing melanoma cases to non-cases. Melanoma cases had increased sunscreen use, decreased sun exposure, and decreased odds of sunburn and sunbed use after melanoma diagnosis compared to before diagnosis. Conclusions: Although sunscreen use has increased and the likelihood of sunburns has decreased in more recent birth cohorts, individuals in melanoma-prone families have not reduced their overall sun exposure and had an increased likelihood of sunbed use in more recent birth cohorts. These observations demonstrate partial improvements in melanoma prevention and suggest that additional intervention strategies may be needed to achieve optimal sun-protective behavior in melanoma-prone families.

Original languageEnglish
Article number692
Pages (from-to)692
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by: the European Commission under the 6th and 7th Framework Programme [LSH-CT-2006-018702] to JNB; Cancer Research UK Programme Awards (C588/A4994 and C588/ A10589) to DTB/JNB; a Cancer Research UK Project Grant (C8216/A6129) to DTB/JNB; the US National Institutes of Health [R01 CA83115 (PAK, DEE, DTB)], the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia [NHMRC 107359, 402761, 633004, 566946, 211172, 1093017, 1147843 (AC)]; the Cancer Council New South Wales (project grant 77/00, 06/10); the Cancer Institute New South Wales [CINSW 05/TPG/1-01, 10/TPG/1-02], 15/CDF/1-14 (AC); CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior); FAPESP (Fundação para o Amparo da Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) – SP, Brazil # 2007/04313-2; the Cancer Research Foundations of Radiumhemmet and the Swedish Cancer Society; the Paulsson Trust, Lund University; grant support from the Swedish Cancer Society and European Research Council Advanced Grant (ERC-2011-294576); the research at the Melanoma Unit in Barcelona is partially funded by Spanish Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias grants PI15/00716 and PI15/00956; CIBER de Enfermedades Raras of the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain, co-financed by European Regional Development Fund “A way to achieve Europe” ERDF; AGAUR 2014_SGR_603 of the Catalan Government, Spain; Diagnoptics; a grant from “Fundació La Marató de TV3” 201331-30, Catalonia, Spain; a grant from “Fundación Científica de la Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer” GCB15152978SOEN, Spain, and CERCA Programme / Generalitat de Catalunya. Part of the work was carried out at the Esther Koplowitz Center, Barcelona; Italian Ministry of Health RF-2016-02362288 to PG; the Comisión Honoraria de Lucha Contra el Cáncer, CSIC, Fundación Manuel Pérez, Montevideo, Uruguay; Francisco Cuellar is supported by a scholarship awarded by CONACYT, Mexico (152256/158706).

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the contributions of the participants, their families and the many clinicians, geneticists, genetic counsellors and allied health professionals involved in their management. This work was performed in participation with members of the following study centers: Barcelona, ES: Paula Aguilera, Llúcia Alós, Celia Badenas, Alicia Barreiro, Neus Calbet, Cristina Carrera, Carlos Conill, Mireia Domínguez, Daniel Gabriel, Pablo Iglesias, Josep Malvehy, M. Eugenia Moliner, Javiera Pérez, Ramon Pigem, Miriam Potrony, Joan Anton Puig Butille, Ramon Rull, Marcelo Sánchez, Gemma Tell-Martí, Sergi Vidal-Sicart, and Oriol Yelamos. Genoa, IT: Giovanna Bianchi-Scarrà, Lorenza Pastorino, Virginia Andreotti, Claudia Martinuzzi, Bruna Dalmasso, Giulia Ciccarese, Francesco Spagnolo, and Paola Queirolo. Leeds, UK: Linda Whitaker, Paul Affleck, Jennifer H. Barrett, Jane Harrison, Mark M. Iles, Juliette Randerson-Moor, John C. Taylor, Kairen Kukalizch, Susan Leake, Birute Karpavicius, Sue Haynes, Tricia Mack, May Chan, and Yvonne Taylor. Leiden, NL: Clasine van der Drift, Leny van Mourik, Wilma Bergman, Femke de Snoo, Jeanet ter Huurne, and Frans van Nieuwpoort. Lund. SE: wishes to thank Anita Zander, R.N. for invaluable help with the data from the Lund Melanoma Study Group and acknowledge Kari Nielsen, Anna Måsbäck, Katja Harbst, Goran Jonsson and Åke Borg. Mexico, MX : the authors thank Victoria Godinez Puig from Mexico for helping to collect patient samples and data. Montevideo, UY: Virginia Barquet, Javiera Pérez, Miguel Martínez, Jimena Núñez, and Malena Scarone. Philadelphia, PA, US (University of Pennsylvania): acknowledges the contributions of Patricia Van Belle, Althea Ruffin, Jillian Knorr, and Wenting Zhou. Porto Alegre, BR: Renan Rangel Bonamigo and Maria Carolina Widholzer Rey. Riga, LV: Kristine Azarjana, Simona Donina, Olita Heisele, Baiba Štreinerte, Aija Ozola and Ludmila Engele. São Paulo, BR: Dirce Maria Carraro, Alexandre Leon Ribeiro de Ávila, Bianca Costa Soares de Sá, Maria Isabel Waddington Achatz, and João Duprat. Throughout data collection, Gilles Landman was affiliated with the AC Camargo Cancer Center, São Paulo, Brazil. Stockholm, SE: wishes to thank Diana Lindén, R.N. for excellent work collecting and entering data into the study data base and Rainer Tuominen for screening of CDKN2A. Sydney, AU: Caroline Watts, Gayathri St. George, Robyn Dalziell and Kate McBride who assisted with recruitment of study participants; Leo Raudonikis who assisted with data management; and Chantelle Agha-Hamilton and Svetlana Pianova who assisted with biospecimen management. Tel Aviv, IL: wishes to acknowledge Esther Azizi, Yael Laitman.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Birth cohort-specific trends of sun-related behaviors among individuals from an international consortium of melanoma-prone families'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this