Multiple Sclerosis Disease and County-level Contextual Characteristics: A Case Study in New England Region

Authors: Yunliang Meng*, Central Connecticut State University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Medical and Health Geography, Quantitative Methods
Keywords: Multiple Sclerosis, New England Region, Contextual Characteristics, GIS
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

There is growing interest in the role that environmental, demographic, and socio-economic factors play in the prevalence of the disease Multiple Sclerosis (MS) within the U.S.. Existing empirical evidence examining the spatial association between the environment and MS death rates, however, remains ambiguous. The objective of this research is to examine the relationship between MS death rates and contextual characteristics at a county level in the New England region. The analysis shows that predictors such as available sunlight, race, and access to healthcare are associated with MS death rates in the region. Most importantly, the association between MS death rates and all major explanatory variables in our analysis significantly varied over space, highlighting the need for local and context-specific MS prevention and intervention programs.

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