Spatial modelling of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalisations in Scotland

Robinson, Emma (2012) Spatial modelling of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalisations in Scotland. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Alcohol misuse in Scotland is a major issue which is extremely detrimental
to the health of the population and the economy (Donnelley (2008)). This
thesis aims to explore the extent of alcohol-related health risks in Scotland at
a finer geographical scale than previous research. A major objective of this
research is to geographically map alcohol-related health risks in Scotland for
males and females separately.
The Scottish data zone geographical areas are used in this study. These
areas split Scotland into 6505 small sections each with a population of approximately
500-1000 people where this is reasonable. Details of all alcoholrelated
deaths and hospitalistions in Scotland during years 2002 to 2006
inclusive recorded at the data zone level are available. Information regarding
area deprivation and at-risk population structure at the data zone level has
also been obtained. Indirect age and sex standardisation is used to work out
how many cases are expected to arise in each data zone.
Firstly, the standardised incidence ratio is explored as an estimate of the
relative alcohol-related health risk in each data zone in Scotland. This is
calculated separately for the combined male and female data, the male-only
data and the female-only data. The results are mapped and discussed for
Further sections go on to use spatial Bayesian hierarchical modelling techniques
to estimate the relative alcohol-related health risk in each data zone
in Scotland. Again these methods are considered separately for the combined
male and female data, for the male-only data and for the female-only data.
The basis for the models considered is the Besag, York and Molli´e model
(Besag et al. (1991)). The models explore both uncorrelated and correlated
heterogeneity random effects. The correlated heterogeneity effects are fitted
by means of the conditional autoregressive (CAR) prior. Fixed effects for
area deprivation are also considered.
A further chapter explores a possible link between the location of singlemalt
whisky distilleries and alcohol-related health risks. This is done by
incorporating the minimum Euclidian distance from the centroid of each data
zone to a distillery into the Bayesian models already fitted to the combined
male and female data.
The final chapter gives a discussion of the project limitations, difficulties
and possibilities for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Alcohol, whisky distillery, Scotland, Public Health, Deprivation, Bayesian Statistics, conditional autoregressive prior, Besag, York and Molli´e Model, uncorrelated and correlated heterogeneity, random effects, hyperprior, disease mapping, Bayesian hierarchical modelling
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Statistics
Supervisor's Name: Titterington, Prof. D.M.
Date of Award: 2012
Depositing User: Miss Emma Robinson
Unique ID: glathesis:2012-3580
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2012
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 14:08

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