Effects of Local Air Quality Reported Using the Air Quality Index and Spatial Clustering Effects on Lung Cancer Mortality Rates of North Carolina Counties in the Year 2000

Kuo-Ping Li, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chirayath Suchindran, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

U. S. EPA reports Air Quality Index (AQI) as an indicator of local air quality to reflect the health effects of air pollution. However, an investigation on the link between AQI and the occurrence of lung cancer has not been performed. In this study, we propose a Hierarchical Bayesian model that links measurements of county air quality derived from AQI, as well as the effect of spatial clustering, to county mortality rates caused by lung cancer. We studied the lung cancer mortality rates of different races (white, black) and genders (male, female) in 45 North Carolina counties of year 2000. It is found that the county air quality derived from AQI does not have significant effects on the lung cancer mortality rates, but spatial clustering plays an important role.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health, Mortality, Aging, Biology