Hats Off, or On, From a Medical Perspective

Are there hat-wearing patterns in spectators who attended baseball games — patterns that might be discernible over a ten-year period, patterns that might be exploitable? This study claims to begin to answer those questions.

Hat-wearing Patterns in Spectators Attending Baseball Games: a 10-Year Retrospective Comparison,” Aaron S. Farberg, Stephen Donohue, and Darrell S. Rigel, Cutis, vol. 98, no. 3, September 2016, pp. 181-184. (Thanks to Ivan Oransky for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the New York Yankees baseball team, and New York University School of Medicine, explain:

“Spectators at baseball games may receive a considerable amount of exposure to solar UV radiation (UVR). The purpose of this study was to evaluate if public education about sun protection over the last 10 years has impacted the use of hats at Major League Baseball (MLB) games. Photographs of seating sections during a 3-game series in New York, New York, were obtained and analyzed to evaluate the percentage of spectators wearing hats. Different seating sections were evaluated (sunny, shaded, bleachers) and assessed as well as compared to similar data reported 10 years prior. Given the limited change in hat use over the last decade, a knowledge and behavioral gap exists that may be exploitable to achieve better skin cancer prevention.”

Here’s some data from the study:


Here’s video of co-author Donahue in the training room at Yankee Stadium, promoting an unrelated medical technology product: