Spatial heterogeneity in Bayesian disease mapping
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© 2018, The Author(s). Disease mapping applications generally assume homogeneous regression effects and use random intercepts to account for residual spatial dependence. However, there may be local variation in the association between disease and area risk factors. We consider implications for model fit, estimated regression coefficients, and substantive inferences of allowing spatial variability in impacts of area risk factors. An application to suicide in 6791 English small areas shows that average regression coefficients and substantive inferences (e.g. about relative risk) may be considerably affected by allowing spatially varying predictor effects, while fit is improved.
- Geography