Departmental Colloquia: Matthew Heaton



Department of Statistics
Brigham Young University


“Modeling the Dynamics of RSV-Induced Bronchiolitis in the Presence of Spatio-Temporal Uncertainty”



Bronchiolitis (inflammation of the lower respiratory tract) in infants is primarily due to  viral infection and is the single most common cause of infant hospitalization in the US.  To increase epidemiological understanding of bronchiolitis (and, subsequently, develop better prevention strategies), this research analyzes data on infant bronchiolitis cases from the US Military Health System (MHS) between the years 2003-2013 in Norfolk, Virginia USA. For privacy reasons, child home addresses, birth dates and diagnosis dates were randomized (jittered) creating spatio-temporal uncertainty in the geographic location and timing of bronchiolitis incidents. Using spatio-temporal point patterns, we create a modeling strategy that accounts for the jittering to estimate and quantify the uncertainty for the incidence proportion (IP) of bronchiolitis. Additionally, we regress the IP onto key covariates including pollution where we adequately account for uncertainty in the pollution levels (i.e. covariate uncertainty) using a land use regression model. Our analysis results indicate that the IP is positively associated with sulfur dioxide and population density. Further, we demonstrate how scientific conclusions may change if various sources of uncertainty (either spatio-temporal or covariate uncertainty) are not accounted for.



Friday, 10/27/2017, BLOC 113, 11:30 AM