Mapping rural–urban disparities in late-stage cancer with space-time rurality index and GWR

Authors: LIANG MAO*, Univeristy of Florida, Jue Yang, University of Florida, Guangran Deng, Univeristy of Florida
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Rural Geography
Keywords: Late stage cancer, Rural-urban definition, Health disparities, Spatio-temporal resolution, GWR
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Oak Alley, Sheraton, 4th Floor

The effects of urban/rural residence on late-stage cancer diagnosis have long been explored, but remained controversial to date. We argued that the spatial granularity of rural definition, temporal changes of exposure, and local variations of such effects are three critical factors to inconsistent findings, but they have not been fully considered in the current literature. Here, we proposed a new methodological framework to address this issue using a spatially resolved and temporally comparable rurality index and the geographically weighted regression approach. Taking Florida, USA, as a study area, our analyses show that the rural-urban effects on late-stage cancer diagnosis vary dramatically over geographic space, even within a county. The odds ratio of rurality ranges from 0.9 to 1.10, and suggests that the degree of rurality can increase or decrease the local risk of late-stage cancer diagnosis by up to 10%. This study could be the first attempt to explore the local effects of rural exposure on cancer diagnosis at a much finer spatial scale. The methodological framework and findings can better inform precision interventions to mitigate cancer disparities and improve public health.

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