Spatial analysis of the risk of multiple cancers in relation to a petrochemical plant

Journal Article

In Environmental Epidemiology studies, the effects of the presence of a source of pollution on the population health can be evaluated by models that consider the distance from the source as a possible risk factor. We introduce a hierarchical Bayesian model in order to investigate the association between the risk of multiple pathologies and the presence of a single pollution source. Our approach provides the possibility to incorporate spatial effects and other confounding factors within a logistic regression model. Spatial effects are decomposed into the sum of a disease‐specific parametric component accounting for the distance from the point source and a common semi‐parametric component that can be interpreted as a residual spatial variation. The model is applied to data from a spatial case–control study to evaluate the association of the incidence of different cancers with the residential location in the neighborhood of a petrochemical plant in the Brindisi area (Italy). Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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