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Application of Multivariate Geostatistics in Environmental Epidemiology: Case Study from Houston, Texas

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DOI: 10.4236/gep.2016.44014    1,439 Downloads   1,764 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

This study represents an example of investigating the associations between the joint exposure to ozone (O3) and particulate matter of sizes less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) emergency room (ER) visits and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) ER visits using multivariate geostatistics in Houston, Texas, from 2004 to 2009. Analyses showed lack of strong pair-wise association among the predictors of O3, PM2.5, wind speed, relative humidity, and temperature. Whereas CVD and COPD ER visits exhibited a strong positive correlation. Both outcomes drastically increased from 2006 possibly due to immigration from neighboring locations. Parametric testing showed that the data differed significantly between the years. Multivariate multiple regression results on the 2009 data showed that PM2.5, relative humidity, and temperature were significant to both CVD and COPD ER visits. Codispersion coefficients were constant which justified the assumption of intrinsic correlation. That is, our predictors had strong influence on the spatial variability of CVD and COPD ER visits. This multivariate geostatistics approach predicted an increase of 34% in CVD ER visits and 24% increase in COPD ER visits, which calls for more attention from policy makers. The use of multivariate geostatistics analyses enabled us to successfully detect the effects of risk factors on both outcomes.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Anderson, F. (2016) Application of Multivariate Geostatistics in Environmental Epidemiology: Case Study from Houston, Texas. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 4, 110-115. doi: 10.4236/gep.2016.44014.

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