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Sep 11, 2020
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Love for the sun: an unhealthy addiction in the genes?

Scientists said that the desire to be in the sun is related to alcoholism.

Andrey Ukrainian

Some people like to be in the sun more than others. Even aware of the health risks that ultraviolet radiation carries, they are literally looking for a place in the sun. Scientists have found a new explanation for this phenomenon in genes. Their research is published in Journal of Investigative Dermatology

Subject matter

The desire of people to be exposed to the sun is primarily of interest to doctors of a specific profile - dermatologists. As you know, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light increases the risk of skin cancer. Awareness of the harmful effects is growing, and people are increasingly resorting to sun protection. But it is very difficult to influence love for the sun's rays, so they decided to compare it with addiction.

What scientists have done

Scientists from King's College London have studied in detail the information on 2500 pairs of twins, which is stored in a special databank TwinsUK. This information included their behavior in relation to finding sunny spots, as well as genetic information. It turned out that identical (identical) twins usually equally love (or dislike) the sun. Similar behavior of non-identical twins may have been different.

In addition, the authors of the study analyzed similar data on another 260 thousand people, collected from various sources. It was found that there are genes associated with "sun-seeking" behavior. It turned out that in some cases these are the same genes that are responsible for various types of addiction (alcohol, drug), risky behavior and a large number of sexual partners.

What are the conclusions?

Scientists speculate that sunburn addiction, including in tanning beds, may be a bigger problem than previously thought due to genetic linkages.

“Obviously, we see people with unhealthy behavior towards the sun who fully understand this. They will continue to be unnecessarily exposed to the sun, even knowing the risk factors, ”said Dr. Veronique Bataille.

“It is important that people understand that there is such a predisposition, as it will help them understand their behavior and the potential harm of the sun,” said senior author of the study, Dr. Mario Falchi (Mario Falchi).


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