Spatial Analysis of Stomach Cancer Incidence in Iran


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


Stomach cancer, the fourth most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death through the world, is very common in parts of Iran. Geographic variation in the incidence of stomach cancer is due to many different factors. The aim of this study was to assess the geographical and spatial distribution of stomach cancer in Iran using data from the cancer registry program in Iran for the year 2009. The reported incidences of stomach cancer for different provinces were standardized to the world population structure. ArcGIS software was used to analyse the data. Hot spots and high risk areas were determined using spatial analysis (Getis-Ord Gi). Hot and cold spots were determined as more than or less than 2 standard deviations from the national average, respectively. A significance level of 0.10 was used for statistical judgment. In 2009, a total of 6,886 cases of stomach cancers were reported of which 4,891 were in men and 1,995 in women (standardized incidence rates of 19.2 and 10.0, respectively, per 100,000 population). The results showed that stomach cancer was concentrated mainly in northwest of the country in both men and women. In women, northwest provinces such as Ardebil, East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, Gilan, and Qazvin were identified as hot spots (p<0.1). In men, all northwest provinces, Ardabil, East Azerbaijan, Gilan, Qazvin, Zanjan and Kurdistan, the incidences were higher than the national average and these were identified as hot spots (P<0.01). As stomach cancer is clustered in the northwest of the country, further epidemiological studies are needed to identify factors contributing to this concentration.