Brief Report  |   June 2016
Cancer Mortality Trends in Medically Underserved Counties in Virginia
Author Notes
  • From the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine–Virginia Campus in Blacksburg. 
  • Support: This study was sponsored by the Appalachian Research Initiative for Environmental Science (ARIES). ARIES is an industrial affiliates program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, supported by members that include companies in the energy sector. The research under ARIES is conducted by independent researchers in accordance with the policies on scientific integrity of their institutions. The views, opinions, and recommendations expressed herein are solely those of the authors and do not imply any endorsement by ARIES employees, other ARIES-affiliated researchers or industrial members. Information about ARIES can be found at http://www.energy.vt.edu/ARIES. 
  •  Katie N. Kennedy, OMS III, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine–Virginia Campus, 2265 Kraft Dr, Blacksburg, VA 24060-6360. E-mail: kkennedy@vcom.vt.edu
     
Article Information
Pulmonary Disorders
Brief Report   |   June 2016
Cancer Mortality Trends in Medically Underserved Counties in Virginia
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, June 2016, Vol. 116, 370-375. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2016.077
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, June 2016, Vol. 116, 370-375. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2016.077
Abstract

Context: Cancer mortality rates in the United States have improved during the past 40 years. The improvement in mortality rates is not equal for all types of cancer or all geographic locations, however.

Objective: To compare trends in cancer mortality rates in Virginia counties from 2005 through 2009.

Methods: Publicly available data from the National Cancer Institute, the State Cancer Profile, and the Virginia Department of Health were accessed for this analysis. For all counties in Virginia with all-cancer and lung cancer mortality data available, the authors compared counties considered medically underserved areas (VMUAs) with non-VMUAs to examine trends in cancer mortality rates that increased, remained stable, or decreased from 2005 through 2009. The significance level for all data was set at P≤.05.

Results: Of 136 counties in Virginia, 134 had all-cancer and 123 had lung cancer mortality data available. The VMUAs had a 48% lower decreasing all-cancer mortality rate than non-VMUAs (13 [26%] vs 37 [74%], respectively; P=.004). Non-VMUAs had a 33.3% higher stable all-cancer mortality rate than VMUAs (50 [66.6%] vs 25 [33.3%], respectively; P=.004) and a 55.2% higher lung cancer mortality rate (17 [22.4%] vs 59 [77.6%], respectively; P<.001).

Conclusion: The all-cancer and lung cancer mortality rates were found to either remain stable or, in the case of all-cancer mortality, to increase in VMUAs.

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