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Open Access Highly Accessed Software

REGSTATTOOLS: freeware statistical tools for the analysis of disease population databases used in health and social studies

Laura Esteban1, Ramon Clèries12*, Jordi Gálvez1, Laura Pareja1, Josep Maria Escribà1, Xavier Sanz1, Ángel Izquierdo3, Jaume Galcerán4 and Josepa Ribes12

Author Affiliations

1 Cancer Registry of Catalonia, Plan for Oncology of the Catalan Government, IDIBELL, Hospital Duran i Reynals. Av. Gran Via de l’Hospitalet, 199-203, 08908 – L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Catalonia, Spain

2 Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Barcelona, Barcelona 08907, Spain

3 Epidemiology Unit and Cancer Registry of Girona, Institut Català d’Oncologia (ICO), Girona 17004, Catalonia, Spain

4 Tarragona Cancer Registry. Foundation Society for Cancer research and Prevention, Pere Virgili Health Research Institute, Reus 43201, Spain

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:201  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-201

Published: 7 March 2013

Abstract

Background

The repertoire of statistical methods dealing with the descriptive analysis of the burden of a disease has been expanded and implemented in statistical software packages during the last years. The purpose of this paper is to present a web-based tool, REGSTATTOOLShttp://regstattools.net webcite intended to provide analysis for the burden of cancer, or other group of disease registry data. Three software applications are included in REGSTATTOOLS: SART (analysis of disease’s rates and its time trends), RiskDiff (analysis of percent changes in the rates due to demographic factors and risk of developing or dying from a disease) and WAERS (relative survival analysis).

Results

We show a real-data application through the assessment of the burden of tobacco-related cancer incidence in two Spanish regions in the period 1995–2004. Making use of SART we show that lung cancer is the most common cancer among those cancers, with rising trends in incidence among women. We compared 2000–2004 data with that of 1995–1999 to assess percent changes in the number of cases as well as relative survival using RiskDiff and WAERS, respectively. We show that the net change increase in lung cancer cases among women was mainly attributable to an increased risk of developing lung cancer, whereas in men it is attributable to the increase in population size. Among men, lung cancer relative survival was higher in 2000–2004 than in 1995–1999, whereas it was similar among women when these time periods were compared.

Conclusions

Unlike other similar applications, REGSTATTOOLS does not require local software installation and it is simple to use, fast and easy to interpret. It is a set of web-based statistical tools intended for automated calculation of population indicators that any professional in health or social sciences may require.

Keywords:
Web-application; Prediction; Standardized incidence mortality ratio; Annual percent change; Net percent change of rates; Relative survival