Spatial statistics have been widely applied in epidemiology for the study of the distribution of disease. As we have already shown in Chap. 7, displaying the spatial variation of the incidence of a disease can help us to detect areas where the disease is particularly prevalent, which may lead to the detection of previously unknown risk factors. As a result of the growing interest, Spatial Epidemiology (Elliott et al., 2000) has been established as a new multidisciplinary area of research in recent years.
Therefore, the aim of this chapter is not to provide a detailed and comprehensive description of all the methods currently employed in Spatial Epidemiology, but to show those which are widely used. A description as to how they can be computed with R and how to display the results will be provided. From this description, it will be straightforward for the user to adapt the code provided in this chapter to make use of other methods. Other analysis of health data, as well as contents on which this chapter is built, can be found in Chaps. 9 and 10.
KeywordsRelative Risk Posterior Distribution Markov Chain Monte Carlo Spatial Autocorrelation Credible Interval
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