Spatial Association between PM10 and Valley Fever Incidents: A Case Study of Arizona

Authors: Chan-mi Lee*, Texas Tech University
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Climatology and Meteorology
Keywords: particulate matter, valley fever, hospital visit, GIS, spatial statistics
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


Valley fever, also known as coccidioidomycosis, is a fungal infection caused by inhalation of Coccidioides fungal spores. Symptoms range from flu-like illness, skin rash, to chest pain, but in some cases, it can be fatal leading to death. Studies have shown climate of rainfall followed by dry weather and dust as susceptible to valley fever. Among around 10,000 annual valley fever cases in the United States, Arizona takes up about 50 percent as the most endemic region, which makes valley fever surveillance and studies in Arizona significant. In this preliminary study, we link a monthly PM10 concentration by zip code with a large-scale collection of hospital admissions (Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project) for the State of Arizona, and investigate the spatial association between PM10 and hospital visits due to valley fever. We first aggregate the PM10 concentrations and number of hospital visits for geographic regions of zip codes and model the relationship between them using Geographically Weight Regression. The effects of PM10 on hospital visits and the spatial variations in the state of Arizona are discussed. In the future, we plan to extend this study for other specific diseases and investigate the disparity across different demographic groups.

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