A Geographic Study of Lung and Bronchus Cancer Rates in Kentucky
The average age-adjusted incidence and mortality rates of lung and bronchus cancer is 55% and 56% higher in Kentucky than the national averages in the United States, respectively. Populations with low income and educational attainment, and those who live close to the mining regions across Kentucky are more affected by the high prevalence and resulting mortality rates of lung and bronchus cancer. This study was conducted because of the high incidence of lung and bronchus cancer and resulting mortality rates in the state of Kentucky that may not be caused solely by social and demographic factors. The theoretical foundation for this study was the social-ecological model (SEM). This quantitative cross-sectional study assessed whether the association between geographic factors and incidence, and mortality rate of lung and bronchus cancer is significant in Kentucky, controlling for social and demographic factors respectively. The sample size was n = 960. Bivariate analysis and ordinal regression were used to address the research questions. The outcome of the study revealed that populations that reside in rural zones are significantly (p < .05) more likely to be exposed to trace elements with less access to effective care, and higher mortality as compared to populations living in metropolitan and micropolitan zones. Healthy individuals promote healthy families, which in turn promote healthy communities. This could improve the local work force, investments, and development which could enhance self-esteem and social change in each county across Kentucky.