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.
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- public health
- health communication
- disposable income