Sun-seeking behavior is connected to genes involved in addiction, behavioral and personality traits and brain function, according to a study of more than 260,000 individuals led by King’s College London researchers.
This indicates that people’s behavior towards seeking sun is complicated by a genetic predisposition, and this requires to be taken into account when designing skin cancer awareness campaigns.
The scientists studied comprehensive health details of 2,500 twins from TwinsUK, including their sun-seeking behavior and genes. Twins in a set were most likely to have a similar sun-seeking behavior than non-identical twins, showing that genes play a crucial role.
The group then recognized 5 crucial genes associated with sun-seeking behaviour from a further analysis of 260,000 individuals from other associates. A few of these genes have actually been connected to behavioural qualities connected with risk-taking and dependency, including cigarette smoking, marijuana and alcohol consumption and number of sexual partners.
Senior author Dr Mario Falchi from King’s College London stated: “Our results suggest that tackling excessive sun exposure or use of tanning beds might be more challenging than expected, as it is influenced by genetic factors. It is important for the public to be aware of this predisposition, as it could make people more mindful of their behaviour and the potential harms of excessive sun exposure.”
Dr Veronique Bataille, Consultant Skin specialist involved in the research study from King’s College London included: “It is clear that we see individuals who have very unhealthy sun behaviour and are fully aware of it. They will continue to expose themselves excessively even if they have clear skin cancer risk factors. Our research shows that genes regulating addiction and other risky behavior are important and may explain some of the reticence in changing behaviours in the sun.”