Blondes live longer in Sweden. Is sunlight the key?

Blondes live longer in Sweden. Is sunlight the key?

Blondes or brunettes live longer?Blondes and Sunlight. By Marc Sorenson, EdD

Blondes, according to recent research, have longer life spans, and sunlight “could be” the key.blondes or brunettes live longer

The study involved 29,518 Caucasian women aged 25 to 64, and followed for 25 years, determined their risk of skin cancer and death. Therefore, the researchers formed two groups in the incipient stages of the investigation. Thus, one group was a “fair” group, or blondes, meaning they had red hair or freckles. Another group was the “non-fair” or non-blonde group and served as a control. Furthermore, the researchers matched each person in the fair group with someone in the non-fair group, during the 25-year period. This matching included similar age, smoking habits, education, marital status, and income. The main outcome desired was a comparison of all-cause death (mortality) and mortality from skin cancer in the two groups.

Who lived longer, blondes or non-blondes?The researchers showed that the blondes had significantly lower all-cause death. Still, they had a higher mortality from skin cancer.

Contrasted and compared to the non-blondes, the blondes had significantly reduced all-cause death. What could be the reason for the reduced mortality? One might surmise that sunlight probably played a part. Yet, sunlight was not a focus of this investigation.

Nevertheless, it is especially relevant that these researchers, in a 20-year study on sunlight, showed other surprising results. In a study on sunlight exposure, they demonstrated an amazing fact.  They showed that low sun exposure habits were approximately as dangerous as smoking. This was probably due to reduction in cardiovascular disease (heart and vessel disease) among those who soaked up more sun.

Why might light-skinned people have an advantage?

Those who have lighter skins make vitamin D and other important sunlight photoproducts at a rapid rate. Some of those photoproducts are nitric oxide, serotonin, endorphin, dopamine, and BDNF. Furthermore, all of those photoproducts are essential to human health. So could this be the reason that blondes lived longer than non-blondes? For more information on the effects of these photoproducts, visit and read the book, Embrace the Sun.

Read Embrace the Sun

A final, salient point regarding sunlight, blondes and skin cancer:

A most noteworthy thought: people who have light skins and/or freckles are already at dramatically increased skin-cancer risk. Thus, it is light skin, freckles and moles that increase skin cancer; it is not sunlight. If the blondes group had accumulated more sunlight exposure, It might have actually protected them from skin cancer. Read more about how sun prevents skin cancer in Embrace the Sun. Regular, non-burning sun exposure is vital.

Happy sunning!

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  • I would like to build a schedule to get sunlight exposure to help me. Do you consult with people?

    • Marc Sorenson, EdD Sunlight Institute

      Hi Glenda,

      I don’t consult about sunlight, but my book, Embrace the Sun, should have all the information you need. Have a sunny day!

      Marc S.

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