Why too much sun holds more health benefits than dangers

London: People who love exposing themselves to the sun can now take solace, as a new study has revealed that though spending long hours in sun may up health hazards, it has lot of benefits too.

The research suggested that men and women with non-melanoma skin cancer have nearly half the risk of an early death as people without the disease, and also have reduced risk of heart attacks and hip fracture, the Independent reported.

It was noted that sun exposure may actually "increase survival from malignant melanoma", suggesting that high levels of exposure might render the cancer more "biologically benign".

The research based on more than four million people also revealed that spending long hours in sun may up the risk of getting skin cancer, but such people are less likely to have heart disease or to die prematurely.

The researchers found that people with non-melanoma skin cancer had a 4 per cent lower risk of suffering a heart attack, compared with people without cancer. They also had a 48 per cent lower risk of dying from any cause. Risk of hip fracture in people aged under 90 was also reduced.

Results were less positive for cutaneous malignant melanoma, a rarer but faster growing and more lethal cancer.

In the study the researchers from Copenhagen University Hospital and other centres in Denmark looked for links between skin cancer diagnosis and risk of cardiovascular disease, hip fracture, and premature death.

The researchers said that the study suggested that having a diagnosis of skin cancer was associated with less myocardial infarction, less hip fracture in those below age 90 years and less death from any cause compared with general population controls.

The study is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.