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'But what about skin cancer? How do the risks of developing this disease from sun exposure weigh up against the benefits of UV rays? The results of epidemiological studies set up quarter of a century ago to measure the risks of sunlight are now becoming available. The findings have been surprising.
A survey of 30,000 Swedish women recruited in 1990 and questioned about their sun-seeking behaviour found that the more they had sunbathed, the less likely they were to have died 20 years later.
In fact those who did the most sunbathing were half as likely to be dead as those who had avoided the sun entirely. The authors calculate that 3 percent of deaths in Sweden are due to insufficient sun exposure. Other research backs this up. Another Scandinavian study of 40,000 women found that those who went on the most sunbathing holidays were least likely to have died 15 years later.'