Bladder cancer clusters in Florida: identifying populations at risk.
ABSTRACT Modifiable risk factors for bladder cancer have been identified, ie tobacco and chemical exposure. We identified high risk bladder cancer areas and risk factors associated with bladder cancer clusters in Florida using individual and area based data.
Spatial modeling was applied to 23,266 early and advanced bladder cancer cases diagnosed between 1998 and 2002 in Florida to identify areas of excess bladder cancer risk. Multivariable regression was used to determine whether sociodemographic indicators, smoking history and proximity to known arsenic contaminated drinking water well sites were associated with bladder cancer diagnosis in a specific area (cluster).
A total of 25 clusters were found to have a higher than expected bladder cancer rate, including 13 and 12 of early and late stage disease, respectively. Urban white patients were more likely to live in an advanced bladder cancer cluster. Advanced bladder cancer cluster membership was associated with living in close proximity to known arsenic contaminated drinking water wells.
There are multiple areas of early and late stage bladder cancer clusters in Florida. Individuals in an advanced bladder cancer cluster tended to live close to arsenic contaminated wells. Increased evaluation of potentially contaminated well water is warranted in these high risk areas. Targeted bladder cancer public awareness campaigns, smoking cessation support and potentially targeted screening should also be considered in communities at increased risk for bladder cancer. Our analytical approach can also be used by others to systematically identify communities at high risk for bladder and other cancers.
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ABSTRACT: Toxic metals including arsenic, cadmium, manganese, and lead are known human developmental toxicants that are able to cross the placental barrier from mother to fetus. In this population-based study, we assess the association between metal concentrations in private well water and birth defect prevalence in North Carolina.BMC Public Health 09/2014; 14(1):955. · 2.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: While smoking rates in the United States have decreased, some population subgroups have smoking rates that exceed national and state averages. These higher rates often are associated with higher incidence rates of tobacco-associated cancers. Over time, a decrease in smoking rates leads to lower cancer incidence. Methods: Using spatial modelling techniques, we identified an underserved geographic locale in South Florida with higher than expected incidence rates of tobacco-associated cancers. We then used a community-based participatory research (CBPR) design to conduct focus groups in 2011 to elicit information about the acceptability of a smoking cessation intervention delivered by trained former smokers from within peer networks. Results: A variety of smoking cessation strategies was presented and discussed in separate, gender-stratified focus groups comprised of former and current smokers (n = 39). Focus group findings consistently indicated that support groups were the preferred cessation mechanism in this community. Based on this finding, we changed our initially proposed cessation approach to one which employed support groups as a quit method. Conclusions: Currently, we are collecting pilot data to test this intervention and to reach smokers who might not otherwise be directly targeted with cessation messaging from larger tobacco control initiatives. If successful, this strategy can be adapted to effect other important changes in health behaviours in at-risk populations.The Journal of Smoking Cessation 12/2012; 7(02):89-95.
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ABSTRACT: Exposure to inorganic arsenic (As) through drinking water is a major international public health issue. We carried out a systematic review of the existing literature examining the association between the risk of bladder cancer in humans and exposure to arsenic through drinking water. We searched electronic databases for studies published from January 2000 up to April 2013. Eight ecological studies, six case-control studies, four cohort studies and two meta-analyses were identified. The vast majority of the studies were carried out in areas with high arsenic concentrations in drinking water such as southwestern and northeastern Taiwan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Argentina (Cordoba Province), USA (southeastern Michigan, Florida, Idaho) and Chile. Most of the studies reported higher risks of bladder cancer incidence or mortality in areas with high arsenic concentrations in drinking water compared to the general population or a low arsenic exposed control group. The quality assessment showed that among the studies identified, arsenic exposure was assessed at the individual level only in half of them and only three assessed exposure using a biomarker. Further, five out of eight ecological studies presented results with adjustment for potential confounders except for age; all cohort and case-control studies presented results with adjustment for cigarette smoking status in the analysis. The majority of the studies with varying study designs carried out in different areas provided evidence of statistically siginificant increases in bladder cancer risk at high concentrations of arsenic (>50 μg L(-1)). Assessing bladder cancer risk at lower exposure concentrations requires further investigation.Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering 12/2013; 48(14):1764-75.