Geographical Variability in Mortality in Urban Areas: A Joint Analysis of 16 Causes of Death

Martinez-Beneito, Miguel A.; Vergara-Hernandez, Carlos; Botella-Rocamora, Paloma; Corpas-Burgos, Francisca; Perez-Panades, Jordi; Zurriaga, Oscar; Aldasoro, Elena; Borrell, Carme; Cabeza, Elena; Cirera, Lluis; Delfrade Osinaga, Josu; Fernandez-Somoano, Ana

VL / 18 - BP / - EP /
The geographical distribution of mortality has frequently been studied. Nevertheless, those studies often consider isolated causes of death. In this work, we aim to study the geographical distribution of mortality in urban areas, in particular, in 26 Spanish cities. We perform an overall study of 16 causes of death, considering that their geographical patterns could be dependent and estimating the dependence between the causes of death. We study the deaths in these 26 cities during the period 1996-2015 at the census tract level. A multivariate disease mapping model is used in order to solve the potential small area estimation problems that these data could show. We find that most of the geographical patterns found show positive correlations. This suggests the existence of a transversal geographical pattern, common to most causes of deaths, which determines those patterns to a higher/lower extent depending on each disease. The causes of death that exhibit that underlying pattern in a more prominent manner are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and cirrhosis for men and cardiovascular diseases and dementias for women. Such findings are quite consistent for most of the cities in the study. The high positive correlation found between geographical patterns reflects the existence of both high and low-risk areas in urban settings, in general terms for nearly all the causes of death. Moreover, the high-risk areas found often coincide with neighborhoods known for their high deprivation. Our results suggest that dependence among causes of death is a key aspect to be taken into account when mapping mortality, at least in urban contexts.

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Gold DOAJ, Green published