Spatial Analysis of Colorectal Cancer in Iran


Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran E-mail:


Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers. Due to demographic changes, it is predicted that the incidence of this cancer will increase. Variations of its incidence rate among geographical areas are due to various contributing factors. Since there have been a lack of studies on this topic in our country, the present assessment of spatial patterns of colorectal cancer incidence in Iran was performed. In this ecological study, the new cases of colon cancer were extracted from Cancer Registry Center report of the Health Deputy of Iran in 2009. The reported incidences of the disease were standardized on the basis of the World Health Organization population and the direct method. Then the data were inserted into the GIS software, and finally, using the analysis of hot spots (Getis-Ord Gi) high-risk areas were drawn. Provinces that are higher or lower than the national average (1.9 SD) were considered hot spots or cold spots, significant at the level of 0.05. A total of 6,210 cases of colorectal cancer were registered in Iran in 2009, of which 3,727 were in men and 2,783 in women (age-standardized rates of 11.3 and 10.9 per 100,000 population, respectively). The results showed that in central and northern Iran including Isfahan, Qom, Tehran, Qazvin and Mazandaran significant hot spots in men were present (p <0.05). In women also we have high incidence in northern and central states: Mazandaran province (p<0.01) and the province of Tehran (p<0.05) had higher incidences than the national average and were apparent as significant hot spots. Analysis of the spatial distribution of colorectal cancer showed significant differences between different areas pointing to the necessity for further epidemiological studies into the etiology and early detection.