Sun exposure and sun protective behaviours in Portugal: results from the first National Health Examination Survey (INSEF 2015)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Sunlight exposure is responsible for a large number of dermatological diseases. The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of hazardous sun exposure and adherence to sun protective behaviours and its associated factors in adults from the Portuguese population. Methods: A total of 4,797 participants aged between 25 and 74 years old answered the sun exposure module of the National Health Examination Survey questionnaire, which was performed in 2015. Hazardous sun exposure and sun protective behaviours were assessed for a typical summer day during leisure time. Descriptive statistics and Poisson regression were used to examine associations between hazardous sun exposure and adherence to sun protective behaviours with population characteristics. Results: Among the 4,797 participants, prevalence of hazardous sun exposure was 76.4 and 67.4% among men and women, respectively. It was mainly associated with younger age, lower education level and practice of regular physical activity. The prevalence of nonadherence to sun protective behaviours was 38.6 and 22.3%, among men and women, respectively. Education and income were inversely associated with adherence to sun protective behaviours. Individuals residing in regions displaying higher UV indexes had higher prevalence of sun protective practices. Conclusions: The prevalence of hazardous sun exposure and nonadherence to sun protective behaviours is considerable in the Portuguese population. The association between these indicators and sociodemographic factors in the population, reinforces the importance of developing sun protection messages directed at specific target audiences.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Health (Germany)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • INSEF
  • Portugal
  • Sun exposure
  • Sun protection
  • UV radiation

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