BOISE, Idaho — A new report shows Idaho is among the worst states when it comes to skin cancer rates.
QuoteWizard compiled statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and found that cooler, northern states have the highest rate of new melanoma cases.
According to the report, Idaho ranks 5th on the list with the average rate of 29.8 new melanoma cases (in 2016) per 100,000 people.
The four states ranked ahead of Idaho - Utah, Vermont, Minnesota, and New Hampshire - are all northern states with an average annual temperature of 49 degrees or less. See the full list here.
Research shows that a leading cause of melanoma is failure to protect the skin from UV radiation found in sunlight, and in lights in tanning beds.
The QuoteWizard report suggests that the higher rates of melanoma cases in the cooler, northern states could be attributed to a higher rate of sunburns compared to southern, warmer states. According to the report, residents in southern states protect themselves better from the sun - wearing sunscreen and protective clothing - because the year round presence of the sun has people hyper-aware of the dangers.
"It’s a cultural awareness of folks living in warmer states to have sun protection top of mind," the report states.
Conversely, the report suggests, people living the northern states are less accustomed to protecting themselves from the sun.
"Being in long sleeves and pants most of the year, people in northern states are excited to shed down into shorts and short sleeves when the seasons change," the report reads. "Not having sun protection top of mind as people do in warm states, northern folks are more prone to getting a sunburn when the seasons change. The shorter sun exposure without sun protection leaves northern people more susceptible to sunburn."
The report also found that men tend to have a higher rate of melanoma than women.
You can read the full report here.