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Modelling local uncertainty in relations between birth weight and air quality within an urban area: combining geographically weighted regression with geostatistical simulation

Ribeiro, M.C.; Pereira, M.J. (2018). Modelling local uncertainty in relations between birth weight and air quality within an urban area: combining geographically weighted regression with geostatistical simulation. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 1-13. DOI: 10.1007/s11356-018-2614-x

Abstract

In this study, we combine known methods to present a new approach to assess local distributions of estimated parameters measuring associations between air quality and birth weight in the urban area of Sines (Portugal). To model exposure and capture short-distance variations in air quality, we use a Regression Kriging estimator combining air quality point data with land use auxiliary data. To assess uncertainty of exposure, the Kriging estimator is incorporated in a sequential Gaussian simulation algorithm (sGs) providing a set of simulated exposure maps with similar spatial structural dependence and statistical properties of observed data. Following the completion of the simulation runs, we fit a geographically weighted generalized linear model (GWGLM) for each mother’s place of residence, using observed health data and simulated exposure data, and repeat this procedure for each simulated map. Once the fit of GWGLM with all exposure maps is finished, we take the distribution of local estimated parameters measuring associations between exposure and birth weight, thus providing a measure of uncertainty in the local estimates. Results reveal that the distribution of local parameters did not vary substantially. Combining both methods (GWGLM and sGs), however, we are able to incorporate local uncertainty on the estimated associations providing an additional tool for analysis of the impacts of place in health.

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