Lyme disease and Landscape Risk Factors

Landscape Risk Factors for Lyme disease in the Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province of the Hudson River valley and the Effect of Explanatory Data Classification Resolution

Messier, K.P., Jackson, L.E., White, J.L., & Hilborn, E.D. (2014). Landscape risk factors
for Lyme disease in the eastern broadleaf forest province of the Hudson river valley
and the effect of explanatory data classification resolution. Spatial and Spatio-Temporal
Epidemiology, 12, 9-17.


This study assessed how landcover classification affects associations between landscape
characteristics and Lyme disease rate. Landscape variables were derived from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD), including native classes (e.g., Deciduous Forest, Developed Low Intensity) and aggregate classes (e.g., Forest, Developed). Percent of each landcover type, median income, and centroid coordinates were calculated by census tract. Regression results from individual and aggregate variable models were compared with the dispersion parameter-based R2 (R_α^2) and AIC. The maximum R_α^2 was 0.82 and 0.83 for the best aggregate and individual model, respectively. The AICs for the best models differed by less than 0.5 percent. The aggregate model variables included forest, developed, agriculture, agriculture-squared, y-coordinate, y-coordinate-squared, income and income-squared. The individual model variables included deciduous forest, deciduous forest-squared, developed low intensity, pasture, y-coordinate, y-coordinate-squared, income, and income-squared. Results indicate that regional landscape models for Lyme disease rate are robust to NLCD landcover classification resolution.


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