Anisotropic Patterns of Liver Cancer Prevalence in Guangxi in Southwest China: Is Local Climate a Contributing Factor?


Geographic information system (GIS) technology has useful applications for epidemiology, enabling thedetection of spatial patterns of disease dispersion and locating geographic areas at increased risk. In this study,we applied GIS technology to characterize the spatial pattern of mortality due to liver cancer in the autonomousregion of Guangxi Zhuang in southwest China. A database with liver cancer mortality data for 1971-1973,1990-1992, and 2004-2005, including geographic locations and climate conditions, was constructed, and theappropriate associations were investigated. It was found that the regions with the highest mortality rates werecentral Guangxi with Guigang City at the center, and southwest Guangxi centered in Fusui County. Regionswith the lowest mortality rates were eastern Guangxi with Pingnan County at the center, and northern Guangxicentered in Sanjiang and Rongshui counties. Regarding climate conditions, in the 1990s the mortality rate ofliver cancer positively correlated with average temperature and average minimum temperature, and negativelycorrelated with average precipitation. In 2004 through 2005, mortality due to liver cancer positively correlatedwith the average minimum temperature. Regions of high mortality had lower average humidity and higher averagebarometric pressure than did regions of low mortality. Our results provide information to benefit developmentof a regional liver cancer prevention program in Guangxi, and provide important information and a referencefor exploring causes of liver cancer.