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International Journal of Health Geographics

Diego F Cuadros, Benn Sartorius, Chris Hall, Adam Akullian, Till Bärnighausen, Frank Tanser
BACKGROUND: Large geographical variations in the intensity of the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa call for geographically targeted resource allocation where burdens are greatest. However, data available for mapping the geographic variability of HIV prevalence and detecting HIV 'hotspots' is scarce, and population-based surveillance data are not always available. Here, we evaluated the viability of using clinic-based HIV prevalence data to measure the spatial variability of HIV in South Africa and Tanzania...
July 11, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Erica Twardzik, Cathy Antonakos, Ross Baiers, Tamara Dubowitz, Philippa Clarke, Natalie Colabianchi
BACKGROUND: Health behaviors are shaped by the context in which people live. However, documenting environmental context has remained a challenge. More specifically, direct observation techniques require large investments in time and resources and auditing the environment through web-based platforms has limited stability in spatio-temporal imagery. This study examined the validity of a new methodology, using GigaPan® imagery, where we took photos locally and, stitched them together using GigaPan® technology, and quantified environmental attributes from the resulting panoramic photo...
July 6, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Maged N Kamel Boulos, James T Wilson, Kevin A Clauson
A PubMed query run in June 2018 using the keyword 'blockchain' retrieved 40 indexed papers, a reflection of the growing interest in blockchain among the medical and healthcare research and practice communities. Blockchain's foundations of decentralisation, cryptographic security and immutability make it a strong contender in reshaping the healthcare landscape worldwide. Blockchain solutions are currently being explored for: (1) securing patient and provider identities; (2) managing pharmaceutical and medical device supply chains; (3) clinical research and data monetisation; (4) medical fraud detection; (5) public health surveillance; (6) enabling truly public and open geo-tagged data; (7) powering many Internet of Things-connected autonomous devices, wearables, drones and vehicles, via the distributed peer-to-peer apps they run, to deliver the full vision of smart healthy cities and regions; and (8) blockchain-enabled augmented reality in crisis mapping and recovery scenarios, including mechanisms for validating, crediting and rewarding crowdsourced geo-tagged data, among other emerging use cases...
July 5, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Isabel Marzi, Yolanda Demetriou, Anne Kerstin Reimers
BACKGROUND: Children's independent mobility (CIM) is an important contributor to physical activity and health in children. However, in the last 20 years CIM has significantly decreased. To develop effective intervention programs to promote CIM, the impact of the environment on CIM must be identified. This review seeks to provide an overview of sex/gender-specific socio-ecological correlates of CIM. METHODS: A systematic literature search of five databases (PubMed, PsycInfo, Scopus, Medline, Web of Science) was conducted with a priori defined eligibility criteria and identified 1838 potential articles published between January 1990 and November 2017...
July 3, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Hua Lu, Xingyou Zhang, James B Holt, Dafna Kanny, Janet B Croft
OBJECTIVE: To assess spatial accessibility measures to on-premise alcohol outlets at census block, census tract, county, and state levels for the United States. METHODS: Using network analysis in a geographic information system, we computed distance-based measures (Euclidean distance, driving distance, and driving time) to on-premise alcohol outlets for the entire U.S. at the census block level. We then calculated spatial access-based measures, specifically a population-weighted spatial accessibility index and population-weighted distances (Euclidean distance, driving distance, and driving time) to alcohol outlets at the census tract, county, and state levels...
June 27, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Francisca Astorga, Luis E Escobar, Daniela Poo-Muñoz, Joaquin Escobar-Dodero, Sylvia Rojas-Hucks, Mario Alvarado-Rybak, Melanie Duclos, Daniel Romero-Alvarez, Blanca E Molina-Burgos, Alexandra Peñafiel-Ricaurte, Frederick Toro, Francisco T Peña-Gómez, A Townsend Peterson
BACKGROUND: Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is an infection endemic in Chile and Argentina, caused by Andes hantavirus (ANDV). The rodent Oligoryzomys longicaudatus is suggested as the main reservoir, although several other species of Sigmodontinae are known hosts of ANDV. Here, we explore potential ANDV transmission risk to humans in southern South America, based on eco-epidemiological associations among: six rodent host species, seropositive rodents, and human HPS cases. METHODS: We used ecological niche modeling and macroecological approaches to determine potential geographic distributions and assess environmental similarity among rodents and human HPS cases...
June 22, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Kimberly M Fornace, Henry Surendra, Tommy Rowel Abidin, Ralph Reyes, Maria L M Macalinao, Gillian Stresman, Jennifer Luchavez, Riris A Ahmad, Supargiyono Supargiyono, Fe Espino, Chris J Drakeley, Jackie Cook
BACKGROUND: Identifying fine-scale spatial patterns of disease is essential for effective disease control and elimination programmes. In low resource areas without formal addresses, novel strategies are needed to locate residences of individuals attending health facilities in order to efficiently map disease patterns. We aimed to assess the use of Android tablet-based applications containing high resolution maps to geolocate individual residences, whilst comparing the functionality, usability and cost of three software packages designed to collect spatial information...
June 18, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Iram Usman, Rhonda J Rosychuk
BACKGROUND: Spatial scan statistics have been used for the identification of geographic clusters of elevated numbers of cases of a condition such as disease outbreaks. These statistics accompanied by the appropriate distribution can also identify geographic areas with either longer or shorter time to events. Other authors have proposed the spatial scan statistics based on the exponential and Weibull distributions. RESULTS: We propose the log-Weibull as an alternative distribution for the spatial scan statistic for time to events data and compare and contrast the log-Weibull and Weibull distributions through simulation studies...
June 13, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Alexia Bivoltsis, Eleanor Cervigni, Gina Trapp, Matthew Knuiman, Paula Hooper, Gina Leslie Ambrosini
BACKGROUND: The relationships between food environments and dietary intake have been assessed via a range of methodologically diverse measures of spatial exposure to food outlets, resulting in a largely inconclusive body of evidence, limiting informed policy intervention. OBJECTIVE: This systematic review aims to evaluate the influence of methodological choice on study outcomes by examining the within-study effect of availability (e.g., counts) versus accessibility (e...
June 9, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Eun-Hye Yoo, Patrick Brown, Youngseob Eum
BACKGROUND: Air pollutants have been associated with various adverse health effects, including increased rates of hospital admissions and emergency room visits. Although numerous time-series studies and case-crossover studies have estimated associations between day-to-day variation in pollutant levels and mortality/morbidity records, studies on geographic variations in emergency department use and the spatial effects in their associations with air pollution exposure are rare. METHODS: We focused on the elderly who visited emergency room for cardiovascular related disease (CVD) in 2011...
June 8, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Benjamin W Chrisinger, Abby C King
BACKGROUND: Identifying elements of one's environment-observable and unobservable-that contribute to chronic stress including the perception of comfort and discomfort associated with different settings, presents many methodological and analytical challenges. However, it also presents an opportunity to engage the public in collecting and analyzing their own geospatial and biometric data to increase community member understanding of their local environments and activate potential environmental improvements...
June 5, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Hannah Verhoeven, Linde Van Hecke, Delfien Van Dyck, Tim Baert, Nico Van de Weghe, Peter Clarys, Benedicte Deforche, Jelle Van Cauwenberg
BACKGROUND: The objective evaluation of the physical environmental characteristics (e.g. speed limit, cycling infrastructure) along adolescents' actual cycling routes remains understudied, although it may provide important insights into why adolescents prefer one cycling route over another. The present study aims to gain insight into the physical environmental characteristics determining the route choice of adolescent cyclists by comparing differences in physical environmental characteristics between their actual cycling routes and the shortest possible cycling routes...
May 29, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Qian Chen, Mingjun Ding, Xuchao Yang, Kejia Hu, Jiaguo Qi
BACKGROUND: The increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme heat events, which are potentially associated with climate change in the near future, highlights the importance of heat health risk assessment, a significant reference for heat-related death reduction and intervention. However, a spatiotemporal mismatch exists between gridded heat hazard and human exposure in risk assessment, which hinders the identification of high-risk areas at finer scales. METHODS: A human settlement index integrated by nighttime light images, enhanced vegetation index, and digital elevation model data was utilized to assess the human exposure at high spatial resolution...
May 25, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Winfred Dotse-Gborgbortsi, Nicola Wardrop, Ademola Adewole, Mair L H Thomas, Jim Wright
BACKGROUND: Commercial geospatial data resources are frequently used to understand healthcare utilisation. Although there is widespread evidence of a digital divide for other digital resources and infra-structure, it is unclear how commercial geospatial data resources are distributed relative to health need. METHODS: To examine the distribution of commercial geospatial data resources relative to health needs, we assembled coverage and quality metrics for commercial geocoding, neighbourhood characterisation, and travel time calculation resources for 183 countries...
May 23, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Hideaki Kawaguchi, Soichi Koike, Ryota Sakurai, Kazuhiko Ohe
BACKGROUND: Coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) has demonstrated high diagnostic accuracy for detection of coronary artery stenosis, and healthcare providers can detect coronary artery disease in earlier stages before it develops into more serious clinical conditions such as acute myocardial infarction (AMI). We hypothesized that the mortality ratio of AMI in regions with a higher density of coronary CTA is lower than that in regions with a lower density of coronary CTA. METHODS: This ecological and cross-sectional study using secondary data targeted all secondary medical service areas (SMSAs) in Japan (n = 349)...
May 21, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Robert F Chew, Safaa Amer, Kasey Jones, Jennifer Unangst, James Cajka, Justine Allpress, Mark Bruhn
BACKGROUND: Conducting surveys in low- and middle-income countries is often challenging because many areas lack a complete sampling frame, have outdated census information, or have limited data available for designing and selecting a representative sample. Geosampling is a probability-based, gridded population sampling method that addresses some of these issues by using geographic information system (GIS) tools to create logistically manageable area units for sampling. GIS grid cells are overlaid to partition a country's existing administrative boundaries into area units that vary in size from 50 m × 50 m to 150 m × 150 m...
May 9, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Xiaolu Zhou, Dongying Li
BACKGROUND: Advancement in location-aware technologies, and information and communication technology in the past decades has furthered our knowledge of the interaction between human activities and the built environment. An increasing number of studies have collected data regarding individual activities to better understand how the environment shapes human behavior. Despite this growing interest, some challenges exist in collecting and processing individual's activity data, e.g., capturing people's precise environmental contexts and analyzing data at multiple spatial scales...
May 9, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Warangkana Ruckthongsook, Chetan Tiwari, Joseph R Oppong, Prathiba Natesan
BACKGROUND: Maps of disease rates produced without careful consideration of the underlying population distribution may be unreliable due to the well-known small numbers problem. Smoothing methods such as Kernel Density Estimation (KDE) are employed to control the population basis of spatial support used to calculate each disease rate. The degree of smoothing is controlled by a user-defined parameter (bandwidth or threshold) which influences the resolution of the disease map and the reliability of the computed rates...
May 8, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Tzai-Hung Wen, Ching-Shun Hsu, Ming-Che Hu
BACKGROUND: Dengue fever is a vector-borne infectious disease that is transmitted by contact between vector mosquitoes and susceptible hosts. The literature has addressed the issue on quantifying the effect of individual mobility on dengue transmission. However, there are methodological concerns in the spatial regression model configuration for examining the effect of intercity-scale human mobility on dengue diffusion. The purposes of the study are to investigate the influence of neighborhood structures on intercity epidemic progression from pre-epidemic to epidemic periods and to compare definitions of different neighborhood structures for interpreting the spread of dengue epidemics...
May 3, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
Shaheen A Abdulkareem, Ellen-Wien Augustijn, Yaseen T Mustafa, Tatiana Filatova
BACKGROUND: Millions of people worldwide are exposed to deadly infectious diseases on a regular basis. Breaking news of the Zika outbreak for instance, made it to the main media titles internationally. Perceiving disease risks motivate people to adapt their behavior toward a safer and more protective lifestyle. Computational science is instrumental in exploring patterns of disease spread emerging from many individual decisions and interactions among agents and their environment by means of agent-based models...
March 20, 2018: International Journal of Health Geographics
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