Sun lovers may live longer but are at risk of skin cancer
Swedish study reveals longer life expectancy among those with active sun exposure habits
A study involving 29,518 Swedish women who were followed for 20 years, revealed longer life expectancy among those with active sun exposure habits and showed a relation between this and a decrease in heart disease and noncancer/non-heart disease deaths, causing the relative contribution of death due to cancer to increase.
It is impossible to determine whether the positive effect of sun exposure demonstrated in this observational study is mediated by vitamin D, another mechanism related to UV radiation, or by unmeasured bias, therefore, additional research is warranted. However, it is very possible that women who spend more time in the sun may be more active and therefore healthier overall.
“We found smokers in the highest sun exposure group were at a similar risk as non-smokers avoiding sun exposure, indicating avoidance of sun exposure to be a risk factor of the same magnitude as smoking,” said Dr. Pelle Lindqvist, lead author of the Journal of Internal Medicine study. “Guidelines being too restrictive regarding sun exposure may do more harm than good for health.”