Utah's Skin Cancer Rates Highest Across The Nation

Jul 11, 2019

Using newly released 2016 Center for Disease Control data, the insurance comparison company QuoteWizard surveyed which states had the highest skin cancer rates and Utah was number one for the most new cases. Adam Johnson was the survey’s research analyst.

“You would think that more exposed states like California, Texas, Arizona where folks are outside with a higher exposure to the sun would have a higher rate of melanoma, but it was actually quite the opposite," said Adam Johnson, a research analyst. "We did see that sunburns are one of the leading causes of melanoma and residents of the southern states are more protective of their skin given that they are out in the sun more frequently. They’re more apt to wear sunscreen and protective clothing, whereas folks in northern states are not as exposed to the sun but when they do get out in the sun that skin protection of wearing sunscreen and clothing really isn’t as top of mind." 

Johnson said factors such as climate change and elevation were only minimally significant. But something they did find was a significant disparity between skin cancer frequency in men compared to women.

“Men have a rate of 28.4 melanoma cases per hundred thousand people, and that’s compared to 17.7 per hundred thousand people," he said. "We did see the CDC had some survey data that found that fewer than 15% of men reported sunscreen use, compared to 30% of women. Folks just not protecting themselves from the sun tend to have the higher rate of new melanoma cases."