Visualizing Disease Incidence in the Context of Socioeconomic Factors

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Certain biological factors such as genetics, physical fitness, and lifestyle have been shown to influence an individual's risk of acquiring disease. But are there are other socioeconomic factors that influence disease incidence as well? In this paper, we introduce a visualization tool called Disease Trends that explores the associations and possible correlations between specific economic (personal income per capita), educational (percentage of adult population with a four year college degree), and environmental (air pollution level) factors with diabetes prevalence and cancer incidence rates across counties throughout the United States. It is structured as an interactive geographical visualization that displays disease incidence data as an interactive choropleth map and connects it with coordinated views of the socioeconomic variables for each county as the user scrolls over it. Additionally, the ability to compare and contrast counties as well as to interactively specify a region for comparison allows further examination of the data. This results in an informative overview of disease incidence trends that allows users to spot areas of interest and potentially pursue these areas further with more scientific research.