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Detecting multiple spatial disease clusters: information criterion and scan statistic approach

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journal contribution
posted on 04.09.2020, 16:00 authored by Kunihiko Takahashi, Hideyasu ShimadzuHideyasu Shimadzu
Background: Detecting the geographical tendency for the presence of a disease or incident is, particularly at an early stage, a key challenge for preventing severe consequences. Given recent rapid advancements in information technologies, it is required a comprehensive framework that enables simultaneous detection of multiple spatial clusters, whether disease cases are randomly scattered or clustered around specifc epicenters on a larger scale. We develop a new methodology that detects multiple spatial disease clusters and evaluates its performance compared to existing other methods.
Methods: A novel framework for spatial multiple-cluster detection is developed. The framework directly stands on the integrated bases of scan statistics and generalized linear models, adopting a new information criterion that selects the appropriate number of disease clusters. We evaluated the proposed approach using a real dataset, the hospital admission for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in England, and simulated data, whether the approach tends to select the correct number of clusters.
Results: A case study and simulation studies conducted both confrmed that the proposed method performed better compared to conventional cluster detection procedures, in terms of higher sensitivity.
Conclusions: We proposed a new statistical framework that simultaneously detects and evaluates multiple disease clusters in a large study space, with high detection power compared to conventional approaches.


JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers: JP17K00046 and JP19K21569.



  • Science


  • Mathematical Sciences

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International Journal of Health Geographics






BioMed Central


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Dr Hideyasu Shimadzu. Deposit date: 2 September 2020

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