Spatiotemporal trends in oral cancer mortality and potential risks associated with heavy metal content in Taiwan soil

Chi Ting Chiang, Ie Bin Lian, Che Chun Su, Kuo Yang Tsai, Yu Pin Lin, Tsun Kuo Chang

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Central and Eastern Taiwan have alarmingly high oral cancer (OC) mortality rates, however, the effect of lifestyle factors such as betel chewing cannot fully explain the observed high-risk. Elevated concentrations of heavy metals in the soil reflect somewhat the levels of exposure to the human body, which may promote cancer development in local residents. This study assesses the space-time distribution of OC mortality in Taiwan, and its association with prime factors leading to soil heavy metal content. The current research obtained OC mortality data from the Atlas of Cancer Mortality in Taiwan, 1972-2001, and derived soil heavy metals content data from a nationwide survey carried out by ROCEPA in 1985. The exploratory data analyses showed that OC mortality rates in both genders had high spatial autocorrelation (Moran's I = 0.6716 and 0.6318 for males and females). Factor analyses revealed three common factors (CFs) representing the major pattern of soil pollution in Taiwan. The results for Spatial Lag Models (SLM) showed that CF1 (Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn) was most spatially related to male OC mortality which implicates that some metals in CF1 might play as promoters in OC etiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3916-3928
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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