eCite Digital Repository

Sun exposure over a lifetime in Australian adults from latitudinally diverse regions


Lucas, RM and Valery, P and van der Mei, I and Dwyer, T and Pender, MP and Taylor, B and Ponsonby, AL and The Ausimmune Investigator Group, Sun exposure over a lifetime in Australian adults from latitudinally diverse regions, Photochemistry and Photobiology, 89, (3) pp. 737-744. ISSN 0031-8655 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 The American Society of Photobiology

DOI: doi:10.1111/php.12044


Spatio-temporal patterns in sun exposure underlie variations in skin cancer incidence and vitamin D deficiency, indicate effectiveness of sun protection programs and provide insights into future health risks. From 558 adults across four regions of Australia (Brisbane (27°S), Newcastle (33°S), Geelong and the Western Districts of Victoria (37°S) and Tasmania (43°S)), we collected: self-report data on time-in-the-sun from age 6 years; natural skin color and ethnicity; silicone skin casts (for cumulative skin damage); and serum for vitamin D status. Ambient ultraviolet radiation (UVR) at the location of residence, with time-in-the-sun, was used to calculate a "UVR dose" for each year of life. Individuals maintained their ranking compared to their peers for time-in-the-sun in summer compared to winter and across ages (Spearman rho 0.24-0.84, all P < 0.001). Time-in-the-sun decreased with age in all birth cohorts, and over calendar time. Summer time-in-the-sun increased with increasing latitude (P < 0.001). Seasonal variation in vitamin D status had greater amplitude and vitamin D deficiency increased with increasing latitude. Temporal patterns are consistent with effectiveness of sun protection programs. Higher relative time-in-the-sun persists from childhood through adulthood. Lower summer time-in-the-sun in the warmest location may have implications for predictions of UVR-related health risks of climate change. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:sun exposure, latitude, adult
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:van der Mei, I (Professor Ingrid van der Mei)
UTAS Author:Taylor, B (Professor Bruce Taylor)
ID Code:84528
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2013-05-16
Last Modified:2017-11-06

Repository Staff Only: item control page