Male–Female Differences in the Prevalence of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Residential Proximity to Superfund Sites in Kentucky


Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a category of cancers that arise from lymphocytes. Previous work by the authors demonstrated a significant association between residential proximity to Superfund sites in Kentucky and cumulative incidence rates of NHL. In both the U.S. and Kentucky, age-adjusted NHL rates in males consistently exceed rates in females, despite NHL often arising later in the lifespan when females outnumber males. The current investigation sought to determine whether the NHL rate difference by sex is associated with proximity to environmental toxicants. Cancer data for a period of 18 years were obtained from the Kentucky Cancer Registry. Superfund geospatial coordinate data were obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Cumulative incidence rates per 100,000 males and females were calculated at the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau tract level, within <5 km and 5–10 km buffer zones around Superfund sites. Ordinary least squares and geographically weighted regression analyses were conducted. Significant associations existed between residential proximity to Superfund sites and cumulative NHL incidence rates in male and female populations. At all exposures levels, incidence rates were significantly higher for males than females. Possible reasons for this male–female imbalance in outcomes are presented, along with implications for public health.


Speaker / Author: 
Ramona Stone, MPH, PhD,West Chester University of Pennsylvania
W. Brent Webber, DrPH, CIH, CSP, Desert Research Institute
Month Year: 
October 2018
Page #: 
Publication Month: 
October 2018