240442 Assessing Risk Factors of the Hurricane Katrina on Preterm Birth: A Simulation Model

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Prashant Joseph, MD , School of Graduate Studies and Research, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
Nia Foderingham, MD , Department of Preventive and Occupational Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
Aiping Yang, PhD , Aeronautics and Astronautics, Beijing University, BeiJing, China
Chau-Kuang Chen, EDD , Institutional Research, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
Preterm delivery is defined as birth that occurs before 37 weeks of the gestation period. Approximately 550,000 premature infants are born each year in the United States, and accounts for nearly 12.7% of all live births and a third of all infant deaths in year 2007. The purpose of this study is to create a simulation model to predict the effect of unemployment, crime, earnings, and other relevant socioeconomic variables on preterm birth after Hurricane Katrina. The county or parish-based data was collected between 2003 and 2006 from Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Alabama. Hurricane Katrina occurred in 2005. The dataset for this study can be divided into two periods: pre (2003-2004) and post (2006) Hurricane Katrina. Multiple variables regarding unemployment, crime, earnings, as well as other relevant risk factors were incorporated into this study. The simulation model was generated by using the computer languages and software packages of C++, Mathlab, GeneXPro, Origin 8, and OpenGL. The validity of the simulation model was tested by comparing the predictions with the observational data. The structural approach embedded in this model allows the researcher to construct candidate models, eliminate inappropriate models, and to retain the most suitable model. The research findings show that the percentage of preterm birth infants is associated with socioeconomic status. The findings are significant as this disaster simulation model could be used to assess risks in other regions, in future events, and ultimately help leaders allocate resources in areas of need.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
To investigate risk factors that affect on the preterm delivery after Hurricane Katrina. To familiarize the audience with simulation model.

Keywords: Simulation, Infant Mortality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a MSPH student who is familiar with advanced statistics. Also I work with a group of professionals who are experts in simulation modeling.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Statistics Poster Session
See more of: Statistics