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Health Place. 2013 Jan;19:45-52. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.10.002. Epub 2012 Oct 22.

Social and spatial processes associated with childhood diarrheal disease in Matlab, Bangladesh.

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Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB# 8120, University Square, 123 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516-2524, USA.


We develop novel methods for conceptualizing geographic space and social networks to evaluate their respective and combined contributions to childhood diarrheal incidence. After defining maternal networks according to direct familial linkages between females, and road networks using satellite imagery of the study area, we use a spatial econometrics model to evaluate the significance of correlation terms relating childhood diarrheal incidence to the incidence observed within respective networks. Disease was significantly clustered within road networks across time, but only inconsistently correlated within maternal networks. These methods could be widely applied to systems in which both social and spatial processes jointly influence health outcomes.

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