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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(11), 3916-3928; doi:10.3390/ijerph7113916

Spatiotemporal Trends in Oral Cancer Mortality and Potential Risks Associated with Heavy Metal Content in Taiwan Soil

1
Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Section 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei City 106, Taiwan
2
Graduate Institute of Statistics & Information Science, National Changhua University of Education, No. 1, Jin-De Road, Changhua 500, Taiwan
3
Department of Internal Medicine, Changhua Christian Hospital, No. 135, Nanxiao Street, Changhua 500, Taiwan
4
Department of Dentistry, Changhua Christian Hospital, No. 135, Nanxiao Street, Changhua 500, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 September 2010 / Revised: 2 November 2010 / Accepted: 3 November 2010 / Published: 5 November 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geostatistics in Environmental Pollution and Risk Assessment)
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Abstract

Central and Eastern Taiwan have alarmingly high oral cancer (OC) mortality rates, however, the effect of lifestyle factors such as betel chewing cannot fully explain the observed high-risk. Elevated concentrations of heavy metals in the soil reflect somewhat the levels of exposure to the human body, which may promote cancer development in local residents. This study assesses the space-time distribution of OC mortality in Taiwan, and its association with prime factors leading to soil heavy metal content. The current research obtained OC mortality data from the Atlas of Cancer Mortality in Taiwan, 1972–2001, and derived soil heavy metals content data from a nationwide survey carried out by ROCEPA in 1985. The exploratory data analyses showed that OC mortality rates in both genders had high spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I = 0.6716 and 0.6318 for males and females). Factor analyses revealed three common factors (CFs) representing the major pattern of soil pollution in Taiwan. The results for Spatial Lag Models (SLM) showed that CF1 (Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn) was most spatially related to male OC mortality which implicates that some metals in CF1 might play as promoters in OC etiology.
Keywords: spatiotemporal; spatial autocorrelation; factor analysis; spatial regression; oral cancer; heavy metal; soil pollution spatiotemporal; spatial autocorrelation; factor analysis; spatial regression; oral cancer; heavy metal; soil pollution
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chiang, C.-T.; Lian, I.-B.; Su, C.-C.; Tsai, K.-Y.; Lin, Y.-P.; Chang, T.-K. Spatiotemporal Trends in Oral Cancer Mortality and Potential Risks Associated with Heavy Metal Content in Taiwan Soil. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 3916-3928.

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