Spatiotemporal Analysis of Lung Cancer Histological Types in Kentucky, 1995–2014

W. Jay Christian, Nathan L. Vanderford, Jaclyn McDowell, Bin Huang, Eric B. Durbin, Kimberly J. Absher, Courtney J. Walker, Susanne M. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Recent metabolic and genetic research has demonstrated that risk for specific histological types of lung cancer varies in relation to cigarette smoking and obesity. This study investigated the spatial and temporal distribution of lung cancer histological types in Kentucky, a largely rural state with high rates of smoking and obesity, to discern population-level trends that might reflect variation in these and other risk factors. The Kentucky Cancer Registry provided residential geographic coordinates for lung cancer cases diagnosed from 1995 through 2014. We used multinomial and discrete Poisson spatiotemporal scan statistics, adjusted for age, gender, and race, to characterize risk for specific histological types—small cell, adenocarcinoma, squamous cell, and other types—throughout Kentucky and compared to maps of risk factors. Toward the end of the study period, adenocarcinoma was more common among all population subgroups in north-central Kentucky, where smoking and obesity are less prevalent. During the same time frame, squamous cell, small cell, and other types were more common in rural Appalachia, where smoking and obesity are more prevalent, and in some high poverty urban areas. Spatial and temporal patterns in the distribution of histological types of lung cancer are likely related to regional variation in multiple risk factors. High smoking and obesity rates in the Appalachian region, and likely in high poverty urban areas, appeared to coincide with high rates of squamous cell and small cell lung cancer. In north-central Kentucky, environmental exposures might have resulted in higher risk for adenocarcinoma specifically.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCancer Control
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by the Cancer Research Informatics and Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource Facilities of the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center (P30CA177558).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • Appalachia
  • histology
  • lung cancer
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • spatial analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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