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Multilevel Modelling of the Geographical Distributions of Diseases

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Multilevel modelling is used on problems arising from the analysis of spatially distributed health data. We use three applications to demonstrate the use of multilevel modelling in this area. The first concerns small area all-cause mortality rates from Glasgow where spatial autocorrelation between residuals is examined. The second analysis is of prostate cancer cases in Scottish counties where we use a range of models to examine whether the incidence is higher in more rural areas. The third develops a multiple-cause model in which deaths from cancer and cardiovascular disease in Glasgow are examined simultaneously in a spatial model. We discuss some of the issues surrounding the use of complex spatial models and the potential for future developments.

Keywords: Cancer epidemiology; Geographical epidemiology; Multilevel modelling; Random coefficient models; Spatial analysis

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: University of East Anglia, Norwich, University College London, and Institute of Education, London, UK, 2: University of Glasgow, and Institute of Education, London, UK, 3: Institute of Education, London, UK

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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