Geographic Concentrations of Lung Cancer Mortality in Texas and Their Relationships to Environmental and Socioeconomic Conditions




Zhou, Xinnong

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In addition to huge losses of life, cancer causes great economic loss. Among all types of cancer, lung cancer deserves special attention because it causes nearly one third of the total cancer deaths every year during the research period from 1990 to 1997. In the research area of Texas, lung cancer has the highest mortality rate among both males and females. Therefore, it is very important to conduct research on lung cancer mortality and to examine its relationships to environmental and socioeconomic conditions. This study addresses three research questions: (1) are there any statistically significant spatial clusters of lung cancer mortality in Texas at the county level? (2) is there a relationship between some municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill locations and lung cancer mortality and does the distance to a landfill affect lung cancer mortality rate? and (3) at the census tract level, is there any statistically significant association between lung cancer mortality and socioeconomic status? To answer these three questions, three research objectives have to be fulfilled. The first objective is to investigate the geographic distribution of lung cancer mortality clusters in Texas counties and to identify whether there are geographic concentrations of lung cancer deaths at the county level. The second objective is to explore whether the exposure to landfills has any spatial relationships with lung cancer mortality. The third goal is to examine the association between lung cancer mortality and socioeconomic status using data at the census tract level. These three research objectives cover some of the main research trends and topics in contemporary spatial epidemiological studies.



cancer, lungs, social conditions, economic conditions, medical geography


Zhou, X. (2000). Geographic concentrations of lung cancer mortality in Texas and their relationships to environmental and socioeconomic conditions (Unpublished dissertation). Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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