The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3034.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 9:06 AM

Abstract #73821

Spatial distribution and the social economic determinants of infant death in urban western Washington State

Richard E Hoskins, PhD MPH, Epidemiology, Health Statistics and the Public Health Laboratory, Washington State Department of Health, 1102 Quince Street, Olympia, WA 98504-7812, (360) 236-4270,

In order to develop a public health intervention strategy for preventing infant death it is important to identify specific areas in a community where the rate is higher than elsewhere and to assess risk factors that may be important because of location. This is important in order to develop a deeper understanding of disease processes as well as helping to develop cost effective interventions. Ninety-seven percent of birth and infant death certificates for 1988 to 2001 were geocoded to the street level for Pierce, King and Snohomish Counties. The socioeconomic characteristics from census data at the block group level were assigned to each birth and infant death using a geographic information system (GIS). This allowed the characterization of covariates on the birth and death certificates such as age of the mother, marital status, birth weight, gestational age, and cause of death in terms of the possible impact of socioeconomic, temporal, and geographic factors. Rates were calculated and adjusted using empirical Bayes smoothing. Also a spatial scan statistic and a variety of cluster detection methods were applied to identify neighborhoods where infant death rates are elevated. The result is an atlas of infant death rates and clusters both in space and time presented in the context of the most well known risk factors for infant death as well as new ones best represented in a geographical context. The result is an indication of specific areas and time periods where a public health intervention may be needed.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Geographic Information Systems, Infant Mortality

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Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Caliper Corperation, Newton Mass TerraSeer Inc, Ann Arbor MI
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Epidemiologic Applications of Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA