AAD Names Most Sun-smart Cities

People in Washington, D.C., and New York City are the most sun-smart, while those in Chicago are the least, according to an American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) survey of 32 cities or states.

The survey asked residents about their sun protection and tanning knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. Cities or states were ranked based on the percentage of people who scored A's and B's in the survey, which was released Monday.

"Based on our initial review of what people are currently doing, know and believe about sun protection, 35 percent of the national public score above average, with grades of A or B. From here, our goal is to move the needle so that we have 45 percent or even 50 percent starting to score in the A or B range," AAD President Dr. Dianne R. Baker said in a prepared statement.

In Washington, D.C., 47 percent of residents received A's and B's, followed by New York City, Miami, Tampa, and Los Angeles. Chicago was ranked last among the 32 cities or states in the survey, with 21 percent of residents in the Windy City receiving A's and B's.

Others in the bottom five included Maine, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Cleveland and Minneapolis (tied for No. 27).

About 40 percent of Chicago respondents said they weren't worried about skin cancer because of their short summers.

"The notion that only people living in year-round sunny climates are prone to developing skin cancer is completely untrue," Baker said.

"As dermatologists, we treat skin cancer patients living in all areas of the country -- from big cities to small towns, in tropical climates and snowbelt states. Studies also show that intense, intermittent sun exposure -- which typically involves residents of colder climates vacationing in warm, tropical areas during the winter months -- is a significant risk factor for developing future skin cancers," she said.

The rankings of the 32 metropolitan areas and states are as follows:

  • 1. Washington, DC
  • 2. New York City
  • 3. Miami
  • 4. Tampa
  • 5. Los Angeles
  • 6. Dallas
  • 7. Salt Lake City
  • 8. San Francisco
  • 9. (3-way tie) Atlanta, Idaho and Philadelphia
  • 12. Phoenix
  • 13. Portland
  • 14. Vermont
  • 15. (3-way tie) Baltimore, Boston and Providence
  • 18. (2-way tie) Hartford and Riverside, Calif.
  • 20. Houston
  • 21. (3-way tie) Denver, New Hampshire and St. Louis
  • 24. (2-way tie) Cincinnati and San Diego
  • 26. Detroit
  • 27. (2-way tie) Cleveland and Minneapolis
  • 29. Seattle
  • 30. Pittsburgh
  • 31. Maine
  • 32. Chicago

HealthDay News, May 7, 2007

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