Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Colon Cancer Incidence Rates In US: 2005

Here's a map from the CDC showing incidence rates for colorectal cancer in 2005.*

I'm thinking ... If meat-eating was a strong predictor for colon cancer, rates wouldn't vary so much geographically, unless Americans' meat consumption varies geographically.

It's not that meat-eating has no effect (some other factor(s) could be weakening or strengthening effect of meat), but there's clearly more to the story. What's going on along that strip from Maine to Louisiana? And why were the coastal states spared?

* The CDC source link also shows mortality rates.


caulfieldkid said...

This one is hard to guess at even. Look at AK. It cuts across wealth, race, climate. . . It's an interesting puzzle but I believe more data is needed before any likely solution can be proposed.

- shaun

Dr. Mel said...

Radon(dependent on geological formations)? More Twinkies? I don't know--it is very weird.

ElDoubleVee said...

Maybe it is water. States along the Mississippi and with major rivers flowing into it seem to be affected. AK and MS are probably spared since the moonshine kills any pathogens. Or it is industrialization with the resulting pollution in the water.

virginia said...

that is puzzling...

LDS influence (western states) because of their diet restrictions (no caffeine, no alcohol) and meals prepared at home?

lower rates (western states) due to: altitude, outdoor lifestyle with exposure to sunlight, exhaust from automobiles rendered less harmful by sunlight and altitude, natural gas as heating fuel, population density?

choice of alcohol or higher/lower alcohol consumption, ethnicity of populations (genetically pre-disposed) and culturally influenced food choices, income influenced choices at the grocery store etc.

virginia said...

and, after you mentioned the tobacco industry in a previous comment, i found this:


mitzi said...

I come from TN- for us it could be the combination of a traditional diet high in processed and red meats (country ham, anyone?), and low in fiber, and a lack of seafood. I did not eat shrimp or seafood not from a can until adulthood, simply because I was reared not to trust the trucked or flown-in stuff. That would not explain Maine or PA. The southern coastal states and AK also have more of a rice-and-beans tradition than TN and the midwestern states do, and good fruit growing regions (georgia peaches. Florida oranges). Louisiana should be better off if rice and beans made a difference, but their traditional foods have a lot of processed meats, too. More study is needed.

mitzi said...

Sorry, I meant Arkansas (AR, not AK).

homebray said...

Vit D:


There is an inverse relationship between the isolation map with the cancer map.