Skin cancer history, sun-related attitudes, behaviour and sunburn among renal transplant recipients versus general population.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES

Renal transplant recipients (RTR) have both an excessive skin cancer incidence and a high mortality rate. In Australia RTR receive extensive public education on skin cancer and many undergo further education pre/post-transplant. This study examines whether RTR have sufficiently rigorous sun protection behaviour compared with the general population.

METHODS

Altogether 179 RTR from two large Melbourne hospitals involving skin clinic teams in patient care were recruited to undergo cross-sectional telephone interviews. Comparisons were made with residents (25-69 years) surveyed using equivalent measures and methods in adjacent summers (2006-2007, n = 904; 2010-2011, n = 942) for regular population monitoring surveys. Multivariate analyses of weekend behaviour were adjusted for related ambient temperature records.

RESULTS

RTR were more compliant with sun protection behaviour on the weekend prior to interview than the residents surveyed. For example, for 2006-2007 and 2010-2011, the odds ratio and confidence intervals (CI 95%) were respectively: used sunscreen: 2.0 (1.1-3.8) and 2.8 (1.4-5.3); wore a long-sleeved top: 4.5 (2.4-8.5) and 3.6 (1.9-7.0). RTR sunburn prevalence (5%) appeared similar to that of residents (odds ratios comparing 2006-2007 and 2010-2011 0.6 [95% CI, 0.2-1.6] and 0.7 [95% CI, 0.3-1.9]). Despite generally good sun protection behaviour, many RTR (47%) had skin cancers treated.

CONCLUSION

The intensive education of RTR may have contributed to their better sun protection. Some RTR with excessive exposure to UV radiation introduction of may benefit from implementation of further photoprotection strategies. These findings may be particularly relevant to other RTR groups receiving education about sun protection.

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