Bayesian spatial analysis of cholangiocarcinoma in Northeast Thailand.
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a malignant neoplasm of the biliary tract. Thailand reports the highest incidence of CCA in the world. The aim of this study was to map the distribution of CCA and identify spatial disease clusters in Northeast Thailand. Individual-level data of patients with histopathologically confirmed CCA, aggregated at the sub-district level, were obtained from the Cholangiocarcinoma Screening and Care Program (CASCAP) between February 2013 and December 2017. For analysis a multivariate Zero-inflated, Poisson (ZIP) regression model was developed. This model incorporated a conditional autoregressive (CAR) prior structure, with posterior parameters estimated using Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation with Gibbs sampling. Covariates included in the models were age, sex, normalized vegetation index (NDVI), and distance to water body. There was a total of 1,299 cases out of 358,981 participants. CCA incidence increased 2.94 fold (95% credible interval [CrI] 2.62-3.31) in patients >60 years as compared to ≤60 years. Males were 2.53 fold (95% CrI: 2.24-2.85) more likely to have CCA when compared to females. CCA decreased with a 1 unit increase of NDVI (Relative Risk =0.06; 95% CrI: 0.01-0.63). When posterior means were mapped spatial clustering was evident after accounting for the model covariates. Age, sex and environmental variables were associated with an increase in the incidence of CCA. When these covariates were included in models the maps of the posterior means of the spatially structured random effects demonstrated evidence of spatial clustering.