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Over the past decade, lung cancers have exhibited a disproportionately high mortality and increasing mortality trend in Thailand, especially in the northern region, and prevention strategies have consequently become more important in this region. Spatial analysis studies may be helpful in guiding any strategy put in place to respond to the risk of lung cancer mortality in specific areas. The aim of our study was to identify risk patterns for lung cancer mortality within the northern region of Thailand.
In the spatial analysis, the relative risk (RR) was used as a measure of the risk of lung cancer mortality in 81 districts of northern Thailand between 2008 and 2017. The RR was estimated according to the Besag-York-Mollié autoregressive spatial model performed using the OpenBUGS routine in the R statistical software package. We presented the overall and gender specific lung cancer mortality risk patterns of the region using the Quantum Geographic Information System.
The overall risk of lung cancer mortality was the highest in the west of northern Thailand, especially in the Hang Dong, Doi Lo, and San Pa Tong districts. For both genders, the risk patterns of lung cancer mortality indicated a high risk in the west of northern Thailand, with females being at a higher risk than males.
There was distinct geographical variation in risk patterns of lung cancer mortality in Thailand. Differences could be related to differences in risk factors such as ground-based radon and air pollution. This study provides a starting point for estimating the spatial pattern of the risk of lung cancer mortality and for examining associations between geographic risk factors and lung mortality for further studies.