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C O P H Associate Professor Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Ilias Kavouras, P h D

Ilias Kavouras, PhD

The cover story of the May 2015 issue of the Journal of Environmental Health was a report, “UVA and cutaneous melanoma incidences: spatial patterns and communities at risk,” by two members of the faculty of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health (COPH).

In the article, Associate Professor Ilias Kavouras, PhD, Instructor Marie-Cecile Chalbot, MS, PhD, and Tina Gomez, MPH, 2013 COPH graduate, summarized the findings of their research that explored the associations of U.S. states’ incidence rates for melanoma of the skin with specific ultraviolet exposure metrics. They found an increase in incidence of cutaneous melanoma in the past decade, but a lower ratio of mortality to incidence, which may be due to earlier detection and improved treatment. The states with the highest melanoma rates were in the Northeast. The authors speculated that this may be due, in those states, to the widespread use of tanning salons or to residents taking vacations outside of the state.

Most of the states with the lowest incidence rates were in the Southwest and included Arkansas. This may be attributable to those states’ demographics, which include a high proportion of blacks and Hispanics, among whom melanoma rates are low, and differences in use of protective sunscreen compared to practices in northern states, the authors said.