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Atmosphere 2017, 8(4), 70; doi:10.3390/atmos8040070

Effect of Missing Data on Estimation of the Impact of Heat Waves: Methodological Concerns for Public Health Practice

1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65212, USA
2
Department of Statistics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
3
Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee, FL 32399, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Christina Anagnostopoulou
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 31 March 2017 / Published: 4 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Temperature Extremes and Heat/Cold Waves)
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Abstract

(1) Background: To demonstrate the potential effects of missing exposure data and model choice on public health conclusions concerning the impact of heat waves on heat-related morbidity. (2) Methods: Using four different methods to impute missing exposure data, four statistical models (case-crossover, time-series, zero-inflated, and truncated models) are compared. The methods are used to relate heat waves, based on heat index, and heat-related morbidities for Florida from 2005–2012. (3) Results: Truncated models using maximum daily heat index, imputed using spatio-temporal methods, provided the best model fit of regional and statewide heat-related morbidity, outperforming the commonly used case-crossover and time-series analysis methods. (4) Conclusions: The extent of missing exposure data, the method used to impute missing exposure data and the statistical model chosen can influence statistical inference. Further, using a statewide truncated negative binomial model, statistically significant associations between heat-related morbidity and regional heat index effects were identified. View Full-Text
Keywords: missing data; heat waves; climate change; Florida missing data; heat waves; climate change; Florida
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Leary, E.; Young, L.J.; Jordan, M.M.; DuClos, C. Effect of Missing Data on Estimation of the Impact of Heat Waves: Methodological Concerns for Public Health Practice. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 70.

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