Using residential histories in case-control analysis of lung cancer and mountaintop removal coal mining in Central Appalachia

W. J. Christian, C. J. Walker, B. Huang, J. E. Levy, E. Durbin, S. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Population-based ecological and cross-sectional studies have observed high risk for several cancers in areas of Central Appalachia where mountaintop removal coal mines operate. Case-control studies could provide stronger evidence of such relationships, but misclassification of exposure is likely when based on current residence, since individuals could have inhabited several residences with varying environmental exposures over many years. To address this, we used residential histories for individuals enrolled in a previous case-control study of lung cancer to assess residential proximity to mountaintop removal coal mining over a 30-year period, using both survey data and proprietary data from LexisNexis, Inc. Supplementing the survey data with LexisNexis data improved precision and completeness of geographic coordinates. Final logistic regression models revealed higher odds of high exposure among cases. These findings suggest that living in close proximity to mountaintop removal coal mining sites could increase risk for lung cancer, after adjusting for other relevant factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100364
JournalSpatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the University of Kentucky Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences (UK-CARES) , a research center funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) through grant P30ES026529 . Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIEHS. This research was also supported by the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource Facility of the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center through grant P30CA177558.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Appalachia
  • Environment
  • Exposure assessment
  • LexisNexis
  • Lung cancer
  • Residential history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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