, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 41-48
Date: 27 Jun 2008

Patterns of infant mortality and cancer death in Alabama, USA

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Aim

To use recent information of infant and cancer mortality in Alabama counties of the USA to test their relationships with social, economic, and environmental conditions at a large scale to identify potential public health issues.

Subjects and methods

The data of infant mortality rates and cancer deaths in the recent years, biodiversity, including species number of plants, fishes, reptiles, and amphibians, roadless areas, metropolitan areas, river basins, African-American and minority populations, and per person income for all 67 Alabama counties were obtained and organized by geographic information system. The relationships between infant mortality rates and cancer deaths and social, economic, and environmental conditions at a large scale were analyzed.

Results

Infant mortality was significantly higher in African-American and other minority populations than in white populations, but cancer mortality was higher in white populations than in African-American and minority populations. There was no significant difference in infant mortality rate between populations in the urban areas and the rural areas, but the mortality rate of cancers was significantly higher in the rural population than in the urban population. Mortality rates for cancers in wealthy counties were lower than in poorer counties. The incidences of infant and cancer mortality were lower in counties with higher biodiversity. The emergent spatial pattern suggests that the incidences of infant and cancer mortality were higher in the Sipsey/Warrior River Basin, Coosa/Tallapoosa River Basin, and Conecuh River Basins.

Conclusion

This study indicates that ethnic disparities in infant and cancer mortality still exist in Alabama. This study also suggests that pattern analyses at larger scales can provide new insight for understanding public health.