At first glance, Hartford, Salt Lake City and Denver might not seem to have much in common. But a new survey by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) found these three cities outshine other U.S. cities in heeding dermatologists' advice on preventing and detecting skin cancer.

The "Suntelligence: How Sun Smart is Your City?" online survey polled more than 7,000 adults nationwide to determine their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors toward tanning, sun protection and skin cancer detection. Twenty-six cities were ranked based on respondents' answers to several questions in each category.

"One common thread we found encouraging is that the majority of people polled expressed concern about skin cancer and had awareness of the importance of proper sun protection," said dermatologist William D. James, MD, FAAD, president of the AAD. "However, we found that people's behaviors did not always correlate with their concerns."

While Hartford, Salt Lake City and Denver ranked No. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, Cleveland, Chicago and Pittsburgh fell to the bottom of the sun-smart spectrum with rankings of 24, 25 and 26, respectively. When results for these cities were compared to the average collective responses for all survey respondents, significant differences were observed in the top- and bottom-ranked cities.

The rankings of the 26 U.S. metropolitan cities are as follows:


No. 1—Hartford
No. 2—Salt Lake City
No. 3—Denver
No. 4— Tampa
No. 5—Boston
No. 6—Phoenix
No. 7—Atlanta
No. 8— Philadelphia
No. 9—Portland
No. 10—Baltimore
No. 11—Dallas
No. 12—Houston
No. 13—Miami
No. 14— San Francisco