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Research Letter |

Seasonal and Geographic Patterns in Tanning Using Real-Time Data From Google Trends

Bez Toosi, MD1; Sunil Kalia, MD, MHSC, FRCPC1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Dermatology and Skin Science, University of British Columbia, and Photomedicine Institute, Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver, Canada
JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(2):215-217. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.3008.
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This study examines Internet search data for seasonal interest in tanning practices to enable the design of timely harm reduction interventions.

The incidence of skin cancer is increasing, partly due to the usage of tanning beds.13 Few studies have considered the temporal pattern of tanning, with most of the previous studies using cross-sectional data from surveys that are prone to bias of memory recall by individual participants. Herein, we demonstrate a novel methodology and use Internet search data to elucidate seasonality and peak interest times in tanning practices.

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Seasonal Plot for Monthly Mean Tanning Salon Normalized Search Volumes in Canada, United States, and Australia.

The interest in tanning salons was highest during March in Canada (orange) and United States (dark gray). For Australia (blue), interest in tanning salons was highest during September. There was a 6-month phase shift for the interest peaks between Australia and the North American countries studied.

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