A Bayesian Analysis of Leukemia Incidence Surrounding an Inactive Hazardous Waste Site
Abstract In this chapter we consider a subset of the data analyzed by Waller, Turnbull, Clark, and Nasca (Case Studies in Biometry 1994), concerning incidence of leukemia cases in an area surrounding the GE Auburn hazardous waste site in Cayuga County in upstate New York. The data consist of exposed population and leukemia cases by census block for the five-year period from 1978 to 1982, and the goal of our analysis is to quantify the extent to which close proximity to the hazardous waste site increases risk of contracting leukemia. We follow roughly the methodology of Wakefield and Morris (JASA 2001), who utilized a location-risk model embedded in a standard disease-mapping framework to analyze incidence of stomach cancer in relation to a municipal solid waste incinerator on the northeast coast of England. We describe in detail the three-stage Bayesian hierarchical model, and the selection of prior distributions for the model parameters. A major emphasis of this chapter will be on the use of R and WinBUGS, and the R2WinBUGS interface between them, in conducting the data analysis.
KeywordsMarkov Chain Monte Carlo Prior Distribution Census Block Municipal Solid Waste Incinerator Markov Chain Monte Carlo Sample
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