Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Additional Departmental Affiliation

Public Health

Document Type



This paper studies the effect of geographic location and socioeconomic status, specifically level of education and income, on rates of incidence and mortality of lung and bronchus cancer. While some prior studies have focused on socioeconomic status’ and global geographic location’s impact on these rates, few have focused on the impact in Appalachian Kentucky and non-Appalachian Kentucky. In this paper, level of education and income are controlled for using four variables: median household income, percentage of persons in poverty, percentage of high school graduates or higher who are at least 25, and percentage of persons with a bachelor’s degree or higher who are at least 25. These four variables are used to determine the socioeconomic status of an individual county in eight-county regions of both an Appalachian and non-Appalachian district. The results suggest that lower socioeconomic status in Appalachian regions is associated with higher rates of incidence and mortality of lung and bronchus cancers. Furthermore, the higher socioeconomic status in a non-Appalachian region is associated with lower rates of incidence and mortality.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Michelle Reece, D.PH.


Biology | Medical Sciences | Public Health