Geographical variations in cancer mortality and social inequalities in southern Spain (Andalusia). 2002-2013

Bladder Cancer

Santos-Sánchez V, et al. PLoS One 2020.


INTRODUCTION: Geographical variations in cancer mortality can be explained, in part, by their association with social inequalities. The objective of our study was to analyse the spatial pattern of mortality in relation to the most common causes of cancer in the Spanish autonomous community of Andalusia and its possible association with social inequalities.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A small area cross-sectional study in Andalusia, with census tracts as units of spatial analysis, for the period 2002-2013. Cases and person-years, sex and age group came from the Longitudinal Population Database of Andalusia. Standardized mortality rates and smoothed risk ratios were calculated using the Besag, York and Mollié model for lung, colorectal, breast, prostate, bladder and stomach cancer. In order to evaluate the association with social inequalities we included the deprivation index of the census tract as a covariate.

RESULTS: The results show an East-West mortality pattern with higher risk in the west for lung and bladder cancer among men, and breast cancer among women. For all of Andalusia, the association between deprivation index of the census tract and mortality relative risks is positive and significant for lung, stomach and bladder cancers in men, while in women we observed a negative association for lung cancer and a positive for stomach cancer.

CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge regarding the spatial distribution of cancer mortality and the socioeconomic inequalities related should contribute to the design of specific health and social policies-aimed at tackling cancer mortality and social inequalities in areas of high mortality and/or levels of deprivation.