Using Geostatistical Methods in the Analysis of Public Health Data: The Final Frontier?
Geostatistical methods have been demonstrated to be very powerful analytical tools in a variety of disciplines, most notably in mining, agriculture, meteorology, hydrology, geology and environmental science. Unfortunately, their use in public health, medical geography, and spatial epidemiology has languished in favor of Bayesian methods or the analytical methods developed in geography and promoted via geographic information systems. In this presentation, we provide our views concerning the use of geostatistical methods for analyzing spatial public health data. We revisit the geostatistical paradigm in light of traditional analytical examples from public health. We discuss the challenges that need to be faced in applying geostatistical methods to the analysis of public health data as well as the opportunities for increasing the use of geostatistical methods in public health applications.
KeywordsMultivariate Gaussian Distribution Multivariate Distribution Geostatistical Method Spatial Neighborhood Census Tract Level
The senior author was partially supported by the Florida Department of Health, Division of Environmental Health and Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number 5 U38 EH000177-02 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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