Avoiding the Sun is as Dangerous as Smoking?
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 12:00 AM

Nonsmokers who stayed out of the sun had a life expectancy similar to smokers who soaked up the most rays, according to researchers who studied nearly 30,000 Swedish women over 20 years. This indicates that avoiding the sun "is a risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking."

The study found that women who seek out the sun were generally at lower risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and noncancer/non-CVD diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and pulmonary diseases, than those who avoided sun exposure.

And one of the strengths of the study was that results were dose-specific — sunshine benefits went up with amount of exposure.  "We did find an increased risk of...skin cancer. However, the skin cancers that occurred in those exposing themselves to the sun had better prognosis."

Given these findings women should not overexpose themselves to sun, but underexposure may be even more dangerous than people think.  There are three big lifestyle factors [that endanger health]: smoking, being overweight, and inactivity.  Now we know there is a fourth — avoiding sun exposure.

Women with more pigmentation would be particularly well-served to stop avoiding sunshine, and because melanomas are rare among women with darker skin, benefit goes up in those populations when weighing sun exposure's risk against benefits.

Source:  http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/860805