Using Density Equalizing Map Projection (DEMP) in Epidemiologic Surveillance: An Analysis of Female Breast Cancer Incidence in the San Francisco Bay Area

April 5, 2001 - 12:00pm
Bldg. 90

This study examined the spatial distribution of female breast cancer incidence in the San Francisco Bay Area (California, U.S.A.) in relation to various demographic variables using cartograms for control of population density. Using a cartogram technique known as density equalized map projection (DEMP), census tract boundaries of geopolitical maps are transformed such that the resultant census tract areas are proportional to their population at risk. With spatial confounding removed, the maps become more useful for identifying potential causal factors associated with geography, including environmental factors. Breast cancer incidence data for the years 1988 to 1992 were obtained from the United States National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program. Population data from the 1990 census were obtained from the United States Census Bureau. Using the DEMP algorithm developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, transformed census tract maps were created for two age groups (30-49 years and 50-69 years), two race groups (Non-Hispanic White and African-American), and two geographic sub-areas within the San Francisco Bay Area. Cases of breast cancer were plotted on the transformed maps and a density estimation function was applied. Contours of risk were plotted on the density equalized maps. High risk areas identified on each density equalized map were then marked on its corresponding geopolitical map. Census tracts of high case density were compared with census tracts of low case density with respect to various socio-demographic characteristics. She will also give a brief overview of her other main projects:1. Role of CYP1B1 in PAH-DNA Adduct Formation and Breast Cancer Risk (which is in collaboration with Regine Goth-Goldstein of EETD).2. The Comprehensive Epidemiologic Data Resource ( Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors in Marin County. " For more information about this seminar, please contact: David Faulkner(510) 486-7326

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