Tattoos may be considered attractive to certain people — body ink is practically a visual symbol of both “bad boys” and “bad girls” — but a new study has determined that people with tattoos not only have more sexual partners, they’re more likely to have mental health issues and sleep problems.
Researchers at the University of Miami studied 2,000 adults living in the U.S. and found a positive correlation, not just between tattoos and mental health and sleeping issues, but also smoking, incarceration, and number of sex partners.
Our results suggest that individuals with tattoos are more likely to engage in risky behaviors relative to their non‐tattooed counterparts, which may lead to health consequences. Dermatologists, healthcare providers, and public health advocates should recognize that having a tattoo(s) is a potential marker for mental health issues and risky behaviors.
“Previous research has established an association between having a tattoo and engaging in risky behaviors,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Karoline Mortensen.
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“In an era of increasing popularity of tattoos, even among women and working professionals, we find these relationships persist but are not associated with lower health status.”
A Pew poll from 2010 found that 40 percent of people between ages 18 and 29 have at least one tattoo, with half of the group claiming between two and five. Eighteen percent had at least six.
Results from this newest study can be found in the International Journal of Dermatology.