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Studying the association between air pollution and lung cancer incidence in a large metropolitan area using a kernel density function


  • Portnov, Boris A.
  • Dubnov, Jonathan
  • Barchana, Micha


In the absence of patient-specific data, composite level data are often used in epidemiological studies. However, since individual exposure levels cannot accurately be inferred from aggregate data, such an approach may lead to erroneous estimates of health effects of potential environmental risk factors. In the present study, we attempt to address this information-loss problem by using the "kernel density function", which estimates the intensity of events across a surface, by calculating the overall number of cases situated within a given search radius from a target point. The present paper illustrates the use of this analytical technique for a study of association between the geographical distributions of lung cancer cases and SO2 air pollution estimates in the Greater Haifa Metropolitan Area (GHMA). In the analysis, the results obtained by kernel smoothing are contrasted with those obtained by areal aggregation techniques more commonly used in empirical studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Portnov, Boris A. & Dubnov, Jonathan & Barchana, Micha, 2009. "Studying the association between air pollution and lung cancer incidence in a large metropolitan area using a kernel density function," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 141-150, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceps:v:43:y:2009:i:3:p:141-150

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. מירי מונק, 2005. "העצמת נשים בדואיות בנגב," Working Papers 97, National Insurance Institute of Israel.
    2. שולי בר ורבקה פריאור, 2005. "מקבלי דמי פגיעה בשנת 2004," Working Papers 429, National Insurance Institute of Israel.
    3. דליה גורדון, 2005. "שוברים לרכישת שירותי שיקום," Working Papers 334, National Insurance Institute of Israel.
    4. אסתר טולידנו, 2005. "מקבלי דמי אבטלה בשנת 2004," Working Papers 536, National Insurance Institute of Israel.
    5. Gotway C.A. & Young L.J., 2002. "Combining Incompatible Spatial Data," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 632-648, June.
    6. Sabel, Clive E. & Gatrell, Anthony C. & Löytönen, Markku & Maasilta, Paula & Jokelainen, Matti, 2000. "Modelling exposure opportunities: estimating relative risk for motor neurone disease in Finland," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(7-8), pages 1121-1137, April.
    7. דר אברהם כרמלי & רנה פוזנר & סיגל רוביצק ושרה בלומנפלד, 2001. "אמהות למען אמהות," Working Papers 143, National Insurance Institute of Israel.
    8. רמסיס גרא & ברנדה מורגנשיין ומרים שמלצר, 2001. "הכנסות הקשישים בישראל," Working Papers 272, National Insurance Institute of Israel.
    9. אסתר טולידנו, 2003. "מקבלי דמי אבטלה בשנת 2002," Working Papers 463, National Insurance Institute of Israel.
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    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:4:p:975-:d:138217 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Marina Zusman & Dani Broitman & Boris A. Portnov, 2016. "Application of the double kernel density approach to the multivariate analysis of attributeless event point datasets," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 363-382, October.

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