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Spatial Distribution of Cosmetic-Procedure Businesses in Two U.S. Cities: A Pilot Mapping and Validation Study

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Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, 333 Longwood Ave., #634, Boston, MA 02115, USA
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Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
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Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
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Center for Geographic Analysis, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
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Clinical Research Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6832-6862; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10126832
Received: 17 October 2013 / Revised: 21 November 2013 / Accepted: 22 November 2013 / Published: 6 December 2013
Cosmetic procedures have proliferated rapidly over the past few decades, with over $11 billion spent on cosmetic surgeries and other minimally invasive procedures and another $2.9 billion spent on U.V. indoor tanning in 2012 in the United States alone. While research interest is increasing in tandem with the growth of the industry, methods have yet to be developed to identify and geographically locate the myriad types of businesses purveying cosmetic procedures. Geographic location of cosmetic-procedure businesses is a critical element in understanding the public health impact of this industry; however no studies we are aware of have developed valid and feasible methods for spatial analyses of these types of businesses. The aim of this pilot validation study was to establish the feasibility of identifying businesses offering surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures and to characterize the spatial distribution of these businesses. We developed and tested three methods for creating a geocoded list of cosmetic-procedure businesses in Boston (MA) and Seattle (WA), USA, comparing each method on sensitivity and staff time required per confirmed cosmetic-procedure business. Methods varied substantially. Our findings represent an important step toward enabling rigorous health-linked spatial analyses of the health implications of this little-understood industry. View Full-Text
Keywords: cosmetic surgery; cosmetic procedure; U.V. indoor tanning; small-area estimation; NAICS code cosmetic surgery; cosmetic procedure; U.V. indoor tanning; small-area estimation; NAICS code
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Austin, S.B.; Gordon, A.R.; Kennedy, G.A.; Sonneville, K.R.; Blossom, J.; Blood, E.A. Spatial Distribution of Cosmetic-Procedure Businesses in Two U.S. Cities: A Pilot Mapping and Validation Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 6832-6862.

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