Spatial and temporal characteristics of cancer in the period from 2004 to 2013 in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

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Salahuddin M. Jaber *
Jwan H. Ibbini
Nawal S. Hijjawi
Juhina J. Thnaibat
Omar F. Nimri
(*) Corresponding Author:
Salahuddin M. Jaber | sjaber@hu.edu.jo

Abstract

Cancer in Jordan is a major public health problem and the second leading cause of death after heart disease. This study aimed at studying the spatial and temporal characteristics of cancer in Jordan and its 12 governorates for the period 2004-2013 to establish a baseline for future research and identification of cancer risk factors paving the way for developing a cancer control plan in the country. Numerical and graphical summaries, time-series additive seasonal decomposition, the method of least squares, and spacetime scan statistics were applied in a geographic information systems environment. Although the results indicate that the cancer incidence in Jordan is comparatively low, it is increasing over time. In the 10-year study period, a total of 44,741 cases was reported with a mean annual crude incidence rate of 68.4 cases/100,000, mean annual age-adjusted incidence rate of 111.9 cases/100,000, and a monthly rate increase of 1.2 (cases/100,000)/month. This study also revealed that the spatial and temporal characteristics of cancer vary among the governorates. Amman, which includes the capital city and hosts more than one-third of the population of the country, reported 61.0% of the total number of cases. Amman also reported the highest annual crude incidence rate (105.3 cases/100,000), the highest annual age-adjusted incidence rate (160.6 cases/100,000), and the highest rate of increase (0.7 (cases/100,000)/month) forming a high-rate cluster. Excluding the three governorates Amman, Balqa, and Ma’daba, low-rate clusters were found with regard to the remaining governorates. All governorates, except Irbid and Mafraq, showed significant rates of increase of cancer incidence. However, no clear seasonality pattern with respect to cancer incidence was discerned.


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