NguefackTsague, Georges and Zucchini, Walter (2011): Modeling hierarchical relationships in epidemiological studies: a Bayesian networks approach.

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Abstract
Hierarchical relationships between risk factors are seldom taken into account in epidemiological studies though some authors stressed the importance of doing so, and proposed a conceptual framework in which each level of the hierarchy is modeled separately. The objective of this paper was to implement a simple version of their framework, and to propose an alternative procedure based on a Bayesian Network (BN). These approaches were illustrated in modeling the risk of diarrhea infection for 2740 children aged 0 to 59 months in Cameroon. The authors implemented a (naïve) logistic regression, a steplevel logistic regression and also a BN. While the first approach is inadequate, the two others approaches both account for the hierarchical structure but to different estimates and interpretations. BN implementation showed that a child in a family in the poorest group has respectively 89%, 40% and 18% probabilities of having poor sanitation, being malnourished and having diarrhea. An advantage of the latter approach is that it enables one to determine the probability that a risk factor (and/or the outcome) is in a given state, given the states of the others. Although the BN considered here is very simple, the method can deal with more complicated models.
Item Type:  MPRA Paper 

Original Title:  Modeling hierarchical relationships in epidemiological studies: a Bayesian networks approach 
Language:  English 
Keywords:  Bayesian networks; hierarchical model; diarrhea infection; disease determinants; logistic regression 
Subjects:  I  Health, Education, and Welfare > I1  Health > I12  Health Behavior C  Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C4  Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics > C45  Neural Networks and Related Topics C  Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C1  Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General > C11  Bayesian Analysis: General 
Item ID:  28232 
Depositing User:  Georges NguefackTsague 
Date Deposited:  19. Jan 2011 20:47 
Last Modified:  23. May 2015 02:15 
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URI:  https://mpra.ub.unimuenchen.de/id/eprint/28232 