Inequality of female health and its relation with urbanization level in China: geographic variation perspective

  • Hao Yang
  • Haixia PuEmail author
  • Shaobing Wang
  • Runxiang Ni
  • Bin Li
Research Article


Urbanization development plays a vital role in the health of modern residents; however, there have been very limited researches to specifically and comprehensively explore the relationship between urbanization level evaluating indicators (ULEIs) and female health outcomes. The mortality rate of breast cancer (BC), cervical cancer (CC), and ovarian cancer (OC) and classified urbanization factor are collected at provincial level. Stepwise regression model (SRM) and geographically weighted regression model (GWRM) are conducted to obtain spatial relationship between the mortality rate of those cancer and ULEI. Our results show that there is remarkable difference of mortality rate of BC, CC, and OC in different provinces as well as higher BC, CC, and OC distributed in northern regions. The increase of value added of primary industry (VAPI), taxi, and coal consumption has detrimental effect on BC and CC. Fuel oil consumption (FOC) ultimately results in increase of mortality rate of BC and OC, and urban fixed asset investment (UFAI) poses a risk to increase the mortality rate of OC. Contrarily, natural gas consumption (NGC) appear to mitigate mortality rate of BC. In particular, our findings demonstrate that there exist spatial differences for VAPI, FOC, NGC, taxi, and coal consumption influencing BC, CC, and OC. It is suggested that policy makers should take account of regional discrepancy and implement a sustainable urbanization development considering female health.


Urbanization development Breast cancer Cervical cancer Ovarian cancer Geographically weighted regression 



Urbanization level evaluating indicators


Breast cancer


Cervical cancer


Ovarian cancer


Stepwise regression model


Geographically weighted regression model


Value added of primary industry


Fuel oil consumption



We would like to express our gratitude to Hongmei Wang from the Nanjing University for support and assistance during data collection.

Funding information

Financial support for this research was provided by projects funded by the China Postdoctoral Science Fund (grant no. 2018M631383), the Humanities and Social Science Research Project of the Ministry of Education (grant no. 14YJCZH069), Science and Technology Project of the Chongqing Municipal Education Committee (grant no. KJ1600622), and Chongqing Federation of Social Sciences (grant no. 2017YBGL147).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Academy of Social SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of EconomicsPeking UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Tourism and Land ResourcesChongqing Technology and Business UniversityChongqingChina
  4. 4.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  5. 5.Rural Energy & Environment AgencyMinistry of Agriculture and Rural AffairsBeijingChina

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