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New Solut. 2012;22(1):79-107. doi: 10.2190/NS.22.1.f.

Identifying at-risk communities for action on cancer prevention: a case study in new brunswick (Canada) communities.

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Conservation Council of New Brunswick, 180 St. John Street Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B 4A9, Canada.


Health statistics reported by large geographic area such as province, state, county or health region offer little insight into disease conditions at the community level where people live and work, where occupational and environmental exposures occur, and where industrial emissions are often concentrated. This study investigated overall patterns of cancer incidence and socioeconomic status (SES) among 14 communities in the province of New Brunswick (Canada). A multivariate ordination technique, hierarchical clustering, and permutation procedures were used to identify and test significance of community clusters and whether the overall pattern of SES was correlated with patterns of cancer among communities. Communities with significantly high or significantly low overall rates of cancers were identified, patterns that were not related to SES. The potential influence of age, small populations, diagnostic screening, smoking and environmental risk factors contributing to locally elevated cancer rates are discussed. Cancer incidence reported at smaller spatial scales provides health officials and researchers with a basis for identifying communities potentially at-risk and aids in the development of appropriate community-based risk reduction actions and cancer prevention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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