Sunscreen sales, socio-economic factors, and melanoma incidence in Northern Europe: a population-based ecological study

Simon N. Williams, Kimberly A. Dienes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this ecological study, we drew upon recently published melanoma prevalence data, and compared them with historical market data and published socio-economic data to test for an association between historical sunscreen sales (1997-1999) and recent melanoma incidences (2008 and 2012) in 24 countries in Northern Europe. We also explored associations between current melanoma incidences and historical data on the following socio-demographic indicators: income, urbanization, and population aging. Melanoma incidences were higher in high-income countries where sales of sunscreen were also higher. Our results show that, at the population level, income was significantly associated with melanoma incidences, β = 0.0003, t(19) = 3.104, p < .006, and that increased sunscreen sales has not prevented higher income populations from being at higher risk of melanoma.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalSAGE Open
Issue number4
Early online date18 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2014


Bibliographical note

Creative Commons CC BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (


  • public health
  • health communication
  • melanoma
  • disposable income
  • sunscreen

Cite this