A geographical analysis of ethnic distribution of jaw ameloblastoma in Nigerians
Introduction: Ameloblastoma is the most common odontogenic tumour in Nigeria. A definite geographic variation has been observed in the frequency of odontogenic tumors from different parts of the world. However, there is no study on the regional variations in Nigeria. Hence, this study was designed to document the ethnic and geographical distribution of jaw ameloblastoma in Nigeria.
Methods: Archival data on ameloblastoma from 10 health facilities were obtained. Global Moran’s I detected geographic clustering in its distribution while Local Getis Ord indicated the location of ameloblastoma clusters. Chi-square tested associations between variables at 0.05 level of significance.
Results: A total of 1,246 ameloblastoma cases were recorded in Nigeria. Besides substantial state variations, a South-North gradient was noticed in its distribution. Significant positive spatial autocorrelation was observed in the three major groups while ameloblas- toma hotspots were found in the SouthWestern and Northwestern Nigeria. The Igbos had a higher prevalence of ameloblastoma outside their home region than within.
Conclusion: The study hypothesized that the geographical distribution of ameloblastoma in Nigeria is the result of all or one of the following: the country’s tropical climate, migration patterns and health seeking behavior. Hopefully, these claims should lead to further enquiry on the underlying causes.
Keywords: Ameloblastoma, ethnicity, spatial analysis, Nigeria.