Amidst Rising Cases of Skin Cancer, Sunburn Tops Summer Health Concerns According to Aurora Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report

June 30, 2015

Milwaukee, Wis. – Sunburn ranks as the top summer health concern in Wisconsin and the nation, according to the Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report, published today by Aurora Health Care. The concern for skin protection from the impact of ultraviolet rays (UV) is warranted, as demonstrated by a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control, indicating that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., and that more than 90 percent of melanoma cancers are due to skin damage from UV radiation exposure.

Aurora's report determined that nearly 1 in 3 Wisconsin residents noted sunburn as their top summer health concern, with just over 1 in 4 overall Americans in agreement. Despite the concern, national respondents are more likely (30%) to always use sunscreen, compared to only 1 in 4 Wisconsinites.

"Protecting your skin from the sun throughout the year is important, more so during the summer months when the sun is most intense," said Anna Juern, M.D., dermatologist with Aurora Health Care. "Melanoma rates have doubled over the last three decades, and helping people understand that skin cancer is a real concern is important. It's reassuring that people are aware of the need to protect their skin from UV rays, but based on our study's findings, we'd like to see more Wisconsinites actually use sun protection – especially sunscreen–when they're outside."

The most common type of sunscreen respondent's use is between 30 and 50 SPF, according to the study. The American Academy of Dermatologists recommends products with an SPF-level of at least 30 for best protection.

Aurora's Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report gauges consumer sentiment on a variety of health-related topics that matter in the lives of people across Wisconsin and the nation. The second study of 2015 looked at summer-related health activities.

Wisconsinites more active than most Americans in summer

Aurora's study also revealed that Wisconsin residents plan to be more active than the average American this summer. 55% of Wisconsin residents plan to participate in summer sports this year, compared to 49% of all Americans.

On average, respondents plan to spend between 4 and 5 hours per week on sports activities. Cycling (22%), swimming (21%), walking or running in 5K type events (19%) and golf (16%) topped the list of activities Wisconsin residents plan to do this summer.

Injuries are also common in the summer months, and the Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report found that 1 in 4 respondents both nationally and in Wisconsin have experienced a summer-related injury, with sprains and muscle pulls being the most common.

"It's great to see so many people outside during the summer months, but it's important that people know their body and take proper precaution to avoid injuries," said Mark Wichman, M.D., orthopedic surgeon with Aurora Health Care and team physician for the Milwaukee Admirals. "Stretching and exercising within your limits is important, and giving an injury proper healing time and therapy is essential."

The Aurora Health Care Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report is administered by Research Now, an independent third-party research firm. The poll measures the sentiments of some 1,500 adults ages 18 and older across Wisconsin and the United States on health-related topics.

To see related infographics, learn more about Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report, or for additional study insights or previous studies, visit www.aurora.org/healthreport. The margin of error for the study is +/- 3.6 percent.

About Aurora Health Care:

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin-area health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Aurora is Wisconsin's most comprehensive health care provider and the state's largest private employer. Aurora serves more than 1.2 million patients every year via a comprehensive network of facilities, services and providers, including 15 hospitals, 159 clinics, 70 pharmacies and 30,000 amazing caregivers. As evidenced by more than 400 active clinical trials, Aurora is dedicated to delivering innovations to provide the best possible care today, and to define the best care for tomorrow. Get helpful health and wellness information via the Aurora MyHealth blog, our Facebook page, our Twitter account and our Pinterest account.

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Matt Braun
(414) 299-1547
matthew.braun@aurora.org
www.aurora.org/newsroom

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