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Comparison of Methods for Estimating Prevalence of Chronic Diseases and Health Behaviors for Small Geographic Areas: Boston Validation Study, 2013
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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:
    Introduction Local health authorities need small-area estimates for prevalence of chronic diseases and health behaviors for multiple purposes. We generated city-level and census-tract–level prevalence estimates of 27 measures for the 500 largest US cities. Methods To validate the methodology, we constructed multilevel logistic regressions to predict 10 selected health indicators among adults aged 18 years or older by using 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data; we applied their predicted probabilities to census population data to generate city-level, neighborhood-level, and zip-code–level estimates for the city of Boston, Massachusetts. Results By comparing the predicted estimates with their corresponding direct estimates from a locally administered survey (Boston BRFSS 2010 and 2013), we found that our model-based estimates for most of the selected health indicators at the city level were close to the direct estimates from the local survey. We also found strong correlation between the model-based estimates and direct survey estimates at neighborhood and zip code levels for most indicators. Conclusion Findings suggest that our model-based estimates are reliable and valid at the city level for certain health outcomes. Local health authorities can use the neighborhood-level estimates if high quality local health survey data are not otherwise available.
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