Journal of Geography and Earth Science, 1(1), 39-44.
Introduction: The present study seeks to verify previous research on the association between land elevation, air temperature, and cancer mortality. Methods: Age-adjusted cancer rates (per 100,000 persons) in 2008 were compared to: a) mean monthly temperatures in 2008 and b) land elevations for selected cities in the United States having available cancer mortality data. Individual regression models were performed for each predictor and R-squared values were compared. Results: Temperature predicted approximately 10% of the cancer rate variation, which was not quite statistically significant (p = 0.097). Land elevation predicted approximately 40% of the cancer rate variation, and this was statistically significant (p < 0.001). The statistically significant predictor, land elevation, showed a regression coefficient of -0.006 (95% confidence interval = -0.01 to -0.002). This indicates that for every 1000 feet increase of land elevation, an average of six fewer deaths per 100,000 persons is predicted (95% CI = 2 to 10 fewer deaths per 100,000 persons). Conclusion: The findings of this ecological study are consistent with previous research showing lower cancer mortality in higher land elevations. Further research with other years will contribute to the evidence base for this relationship.
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Hart, John (2013). Land Elevation, Air Temperature, and Cancer Mortality for selected U.S. Cities. Journal of Geography and Earth Science, 1(1), 39-44
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John Hart, DC, MHSc
Assistant Director of Research
Sherman College of Chiropractic
Spartanburg, SC 29304
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