ResearchPad - urban-geography https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Adaptive genetic diversity and evidence of population genetic structure in the endangered Sierra Madre Sparrow (<i>Xenospiza baileyi</i>)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11235 The magnitude and distribution of genetic diversity through space and time can provide useful information relating to evolutionary potential and conservation status in threatened species. In assessing genetic diversity in species that are of conservation concern, several studies have focused on the use of Toll-like receptors (TLRs). TLRs are innate immune genes related to pathogen resistance, and polymorphisms may reflect not only levels of functional diversity, but may also be used to assess genetic diversity within and among populations. Here, we combined four potentially adaptive markers (TLRs) with one mitochondrial (COI) marker to evaluate genetic variation in the endangered Sierra Madre Sparrow (Xenospiza baileyi). This species offers an ideal model to investigate population and evolutionary genetic processes that may be occurring in a habitat restricted endangered species with disjunct populations (Mexico City and Durango), the census sizes of which differ by an order of magnitude. TLRs diversity in the Sierra Madre Sparrow was relatively high, which was not expected given its two small, geographically isolated populations. Genetic diversity was different (but not significantly so) between the two populations, with less diversity seen in the smaller Durango population. Population genetic structure between populations was due to isolation and different selective forces acting on different TLRs; population structure was also evident in COI. Reduction of genetic diversity in COI was observed over 20 years in the Durango population, a result likely caused by habitat loss, a factor which may be the main cause of diversity decline generally. Our results provide information related to the ways in which adaptive variation can be altered by demographic changes due to human-mediated habitat alterations. Furthermore, our findings may help to guide conservation schemes for both populations and their restricted habitat.

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<![CDATA[Exploring the geography of serious mental illness and type 2 diabetes comorbidity in Illawarra—Shoalhaven, Australia (2010 -2017)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N645ccd00-2b7d-4514-8bd1-1e99a3f678df

Objectives

The primary aim of this study was to describe the geography of serious mental illness (SMI)–type 2 diabetes comorbidity (T2D) in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region of NSW, Australia. The Secondary objective was to determine the geographic concordance if any, between the comorbidity and the single diagnosis of SMI and diabetes.

Methods

Spatial analytical techniques were applied to clinical data to explore the above objectives. The geographic variation in comorbidity was determined by Moran’s I at the global level and the local clusters of significance were determined by Local Moran’s I and spatial scan statistic. Choropleth hotspot maps and spatial scan statistics were generated to assess the geographic convergence of SMI, diabetes and their comorbidity. Additionally, we used bivariate LISA (Local Indicators of Spatial Association) and multivariate spatial scan to identify coincident areas with higher rates of both SMI and T2D.

Results

The study identified significant geographic variation in the distribution of SMI–T2D comorbidity in Illawarra Shoalhaven. Consistently higher burden of comorbidity was observed in some urban suburbs surrounding the major metropolitan city. Comparison of comorbidity hotspots with the hotspots of single diagnosis SMI and T2D further revealed a geographic concordance of high-risk areas again in the urban areas outside the major metropolitan city.

Conclusion

The identified comorbidity hotspots in our study may serve as a basis for future prioritisation and targeted interventions. Further investigation is required to determine whether contextual environmental factors, such as neighbourhood socioeconomic disadvantage, may be explanatory.

Implications for public health

Ours is the first study to explore the geographic variations in the distribution of SMI and T2D comorbidity. Findings highlight the importance of considering the role of neighbourhood environments in influencing the T2D risk in people with SMI.

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<![CDATA[Physical co-presence intensity: Measuring dynamic face-to-face interaction potential in public space using social media check-in records]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b26b0d5eed0c484289ea4

Urban public spaces facilitate social interactions between people, reflecting the shifting functionality of spaces. There is no commonly-held consensus on the quantification methods for the dynamic interplay between spatial geometry, urban movement, and face-to-face encounters. Using anonymized social media check-in records from Shanghai, China, this study proposes pipelines for quantifying physical face-to-face encounter potential patterns through public space networks between local and non-local residents sensed by social media over time from space to space, in which social difference, cognitive cost, and time remoteness are integrated as the physical co-presence intensity index. This illustrates the spatiotemporally different ways in which the built environment binds various groups of space users configurationally via urban streets. The variation in face-to-face interaction patterns captures the fine-resolution patterns of urban flows and a new definition of street hierarchy, illustrating how urban public space systems deliver physical meeting opportunities and shape the spatial rhythms of human behavior from the public to the private. The shifting encounter potentials through streets are recognized as reflections of urban centrality structures with social interactions that are spatiotemporally varying, projected in the configurations of urban forms and functions. The results indicate that the occurrence probability of face-to-face encounters is more geometrically scaled than predicted based on the co-location probability of two people using metric distance alone. By adding temporal and social dimensions to urban morphology studies, and the field of space syntax research in particular, we suggest a new approach of analyzing the temporal urban centrality structures of the physical interaction potentials based on trajectory data, which is sensitive to the transformation of the spatial grid. It sheds light on how to adopt urban design as a social instrument to facilitate the dynamically changing social interaction potential in the new data environment, thereby enhancing spatial functionality and the social well-being.

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<![CDATA[Dynamical analogues of rank distributions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e933d5eed0c48496f97e

We present an equivalence between stochastic and deterministic variable approaches to represent ranked data and find the expressions obtained to be suggestive of statistical-mechanical meanings. We first reproduce size-rank distributions N(k) from real data sets by straightforward considerations based on the assumed knowledge of the background probability distribution P(N) that generates samples of random variable values similar to real data. The choice of different functional expressions for P(N): power law, exponential, Gaussian, etc., leads to different classes of distributions N(k) for which we find examples in nature. Then we show that all of these types of functions can be alternatively obtained from deterministic dynamical systems. These correspond to one-dimensional nonlinear iterated maps near a tangent bifurcation whose trajectories are proved to be precise analogues of the N(k). We provide explicit expressions for the maps and their trajectories and find they operate under conditions of vanishing or small Lyapunov exponent, therefore at or near a transition to or out of chaos. We give explicit examples ranging from exponential to logarithmic behavior, including Zipf’s law. Adoption of the nonlinear map as the formalism central character is a useful viewpoint, as variation of its few parameters, that modify its tangency property, translate into the different classes for N(k).

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<![CDATA[Depression and obesity, data from a national administrative database study: Geographic evidence for an epidemiological overlap]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e506ad5eed0c484d8177e

Background

Depression and obesity are two major conditions with both psychological and somatic burdens. Some data suggest strong connections between depression and obesity and more particularly associated prevalence of both disorders. However, little is known about the geographical distribution of these two diseases. This study aimed to determine if there is spatial overlap between obesity and depression using data from the entire French territory.

Methods

Data for 5,627 geographic codes for metropolitan France were collected from the two national hospital databases (PMSI-MCO and RIM-P) for the year 2016. We identified people who were depressed, obese or both registered in the two public medico-administrative databases, and we assessed their location. In addition, a multivariable analysis was performed in order to determine geographic interactions between obesity and depression after controlling for age, sex, environmental and socio-economic factors (social/material deprivation, urbanicity/rurality).

Results

1,045,682 people aged 18 years and older were identified. The mapping analysis showed several cold and hot regional clusters of coinciding obesity and depression. The multivariable analysis demonstrated significant geographic interactions, with an increasing probability of finding a high prevalence of obesity in regions with major depression (OR 1.29 95% CI 1.13–1.49, p = 0.0002) and an increased probability of finding a high prevalence of depression in regions with a high ration of obesity (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.15–1.52, p<0.0001).

Conclusion

Our study confirms the significant bidirectional relationships between obesity and depression at a group level. French geographic patterns reveal a partial overlap between obesity and depression, suggesting these two diseases can be included in a common approach. Further studies should be done to increase the understanding of this complex comorbidity.

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<![CDATA[Spatial constraints on the diffusion of religious innovations: The case of early Christianity in the Roman Empire]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2d2eabd5eed0c484d9b009

Christianity emerged as a small and marginal movement in the first century Palestine and throughout the following three centuries it became highly visible in the whole Mediterranean. Little is known about the mechanisms of spreading innovative ideas in past societies. Here we investigate how well the spread of Christianity can be explained as a diffusive process constrained by physical travel in the Roman Empire. First, we combine a previously established model of the transportation network with city population estimates and evaluate to which extent the spatio-temporal pattern of the spread of Christianity can be explained by static factors. Second, we apply a network-theoretical approach to analyze the spreading process utilizing effective distance. We show that the spread of Christianity in the first two centuries closely follows a gravity-guided diffusion, and is substantially accelerated in the third century. Using the effective distance measure, we are able to suggest the probable path of the spread. Our work demonstrates how the spatio-temporal patterns we observe in the data can be explained using only spatial constraints and urbanization structure of the empire. Our findings also provide a methodological framework to be reused for studying other cultural spreading phenomena.

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<![CDATA[Smoking prevalence and trends among a U.S. national sample of women of reproductive age in rural versus urban settings]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c08419fd5eed0c484fca419

U.S. smoking prevalence is declining at a slower rate in rural than urban settings and contributing to regional health disparities. Cigarette smoking among women of reproductive age is particularly concerning due to the potential for serious maternal and infant adverse health effects should a smoker become pregnant. The aim of the present study was to examine whether this rural-urban disparity impacts women of reproductive age (ages 15–44) including pregnant women. Data came from the ten most recent years of the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2007–2016). We estimated prevalence of current smoking and nicotine dependence among women categorized by rural-urban residence, pregnancy status, and trends using chi-square testing and multivariable modeling while adjusting for common risk factors for smoking. Despite overall decreasing trends in smoking prevalence, prevalence was higher among rural than urban women of reproductive age overall (χ2(1) = 579.33, p < .0001) and among non-pregnant (χ2(1) = 578.0, p < .0001) and pregnant (χ2(1) = 79.69, p < .0001) women examined separately. An interaction between residence and pregnancy status showed adjusted odds of smoking among urban pregnant compared to non-pregnant women (AOR = .58, [.53 –.63]) were lower than those among rural pregnant compared to non-pregnant women (AOR = 0.75, [.62 –.92]), consistent with greater pregnancy-related smoking cessation among urban pregnant women. Prevalence of nicotine dependence was also higher in rural than urban smokers overall (χ2(2) = 790.42, p < .0001) and among non-pregnant (χ2(2) = 790.58, p < .0001) and pregnant women examined separately (χ2(2) = 63.69, p < .0001), with no significant changes over time. Associations involving residence and pregnancy status remained significant in models adjusting for covariates (ps < 0.05). Results document greater prevalence of smoking and nicotine dependence and suggest less pregnancy-related quitting among rural compared to urban women, disparities that have potential for direct, multi-generational adverse health impacts.

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<![CDATA[On Scaling of Scientific Knowledge Production in U.S. Metropolitan Areas]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db2dab0ee8fa60bd1c4e

Using data on all scientific publications from the Scopus database, we find a superlinear scaling effect for U.S. metropolitan areas as indicated by the increase of per capita publication output with city size. We also find that the variance of residuals is much higher for mid-sized cities (100,000 to 500,000 inhabitants) compared to larger cities. The latter result is indicative of the critical mass required to establish a scientific center in a particular discipline. Finally, we observe that the largest cities publish much less than the scaling law would predict, indicating that the largest cities are relatively unattractive locations for scientific research.

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<![CDATA[Effectiveness of Multiple-Strategy Community Intervention in Reducing Geographical, Socioeconomic and Gender Based Inequalities in Maternal and Child Health Outcomes in Haryana, India]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da35ab0ee8fa60b86152

Objective

The implemented multiple-strategy community intervention National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) between 2005 and 2012 aimed to reduce maternal and child health (MCH) inequalities across geographical, socioeconomic and gender categories in India. The objective of this study is to quantify the extent of reduction in these inequalities pre- and post-NRHM in Haryana, North India.

Methods

Data of district-level household surveys (DLHS) held before (2002–04), during (2007–08), and after (2012–13) the implementation of NRHM has been used. Geographical, socioeconomic and gender inequalities in maternal and child health were assessed by estimating the absolute differences in MCH indicators between urban and rural areas, between the most advantaged and least advantaged socioeconomic groups and between male and female children. Logistic regression analyses were done to observe significant differences in these inequalities between 2005 and 2012.

Results

There were significant improvements in all MCH indicators (p<0.05). The geographical and socioeconomic differences between urban and rural areas, and between rich and poor were significantly (p<0.05) reduced for pregnant women who had an institutional delivery (geographical difference declining from 22% to 7.6%; socioeconomic from 48.2% to 13%), post-natal care within 2 weeks of delivery (2.8% to 1.5%; 30.3% to 7%); and for children with full vaccination (10% to 3.5%, 48.3% to 14%) and who received oral rehydration solution (ORS) for diarrhea (11% to -2.2%; 41% to 5%). Inequalities between male and female children were significantly (p<0.05) reversed for full immunization (5.7% to -0.6%) and BCG immunization (1.9 to -0.9 points), and a significant (p<0.05) decrease was observed for oral polio vaccine (4.0% to 0%) and measles vaccine (4.2% to 0.1%).

Conclusions

The implemented multiple-strategy community intervention National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) between 2005 and 2012 might have resulted in significant reductions in geographical, socioeconomic and gender inequalities in MCH in Haryana, as causal relationships cannot be established with descriptive research.

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<![CDATA[Implementing Spatial Segregation Measures in R]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f9ab0ee8fa60b7173c

Reliable and accurate estimation of residential segregation between population groups is important for understanding the extent of social cohesion and integration in our society. Although there have been considerable methodological advances in the measurement of segregation over the last several decades, the recently developed measures have not been widely used in the literature, in part due to their complex calculation. To address this problem, we have implemented several newly proposed segregation indices in R, an open source software environment for statistical computing and graphics, as a package called seg. Although there are already a few standalone applications and add-on packages that provide access to similar methods, our implementation has a number of advantages over the existing tools. First, our implementation is flexible in the sense that it provides detailed control over the calculation process with a wide range of input parameters. Most of the parameters have carefully chosen defaults, which perform acceptably in many situations, so less experienced users can also use the implemented functions without too much difficulty. Second, there is no need to export results to other software programs for further analysis. We provide coercion methods that enable the transformation of our output classes into general R classes, so the user can use thousands of standard and modern statistical techniques, which are already available in R, for the post-processing of the results. Third, our implementation does not require commercial software to operate, so it is accessible to a wider group of people.

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<![CDATA[Spatial Accessibility to Health Care Services: Identifying under-Serviced Neighbourhoods in Canadian Urban Areas]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1bab0ee8fa60b7cfc9

Background

Urban environments can influence many aspects of health and well-being and access to health care is one of them. Access to primary health care (PHC) in urban settings is a pressing research and policy issue in Canada. Most research on access to healthcare is focused on national and provincial levels in Canada; there is a need to advance current understanding to local scales such as neighbourhoods.

Methods

This study examines spatial accessibility to family physicians using the Three-Step Floating Catchment Area (3SFCA) method to identify neighbourhoods with poor geographical access to PHC services and their spatial patterning across 14 Canadian urban settings. An index of spatial access to PHC services, representing an accessibility score (physicians-per-1000 population), was calculated for neighborhoods using a 3km road network distance. Information about primary health care providers (this definition does not include mobile services such as health buses or nurse practitioners or less distributed services such as emergency rooms) used in this research was gathered from publicly available and routinely updated sources (i.e. provincial colleges of physicians and surgeons). An integrated geocoding approach was used to establish PHC locations.

Results

The results found that the three methods, Simple Ratio, Neighbourhood Simple Ratio, and 3SFCA that produce City level access scores are positively correlated with each other. Comparative analyses were performed both within and across urban settings to examine disparities in distributions of PHC services. It is found that neighbourhoods with poor accessibility scores in the main urban settings across Canada have further disadvantages in relation to population high health care needs.

Conclusions

The results of this study show substantial variations in geographical accessibility to PHC services both within and among urban areas. This research enhances our understanding of spatial accessibility to health care services at the neighbourhood level. In particular, the results show that the low access neighbourhoods tend to be clustered in the neighbourhoods at the urban periphery and immediately surrounding the downtown area.

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<![CDATA[Associations of women's position in the household and food insecurity with family planning use in Nepal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db59ab0ee8fa60bdf16a

Background

Women in Nepal have low status, especially younger women in co-resident households. Nepal also faces high levels of household food insecurity and malnutrition, and stagnation in uptake of modern family planning methods.

Objective

This study aims to understand if household structure and food insecurity interact to influence family planning use in Nepal.

Methods

Using data on married, non-pregnant women aged 15–49 with at least one child from the Nepal 2011 Demographic and Health Survey (N = 7,460), we explore the relationship between women’s position in the household, food insecurity as a moderator, and family planning use, using multi-variable logistic regressions. We adjust for household and individual factors, including other status-related variables.

Results

In adjusted models, living in a food insecure household and co-residing with in-laws either with no other daughter-in-laws or as the eldest or youngest daughter-in-law (compared to not-co-residing with in-laws) are all associated with lower odds of family planning use. In the interaction model, younger-sisters-in-law and women co-residing with no sisters-in-law in food insecure households have the lowest odds of family planning use.

Conclusion

This study shows that household position is associated with family planning use in Nepal, and that food insecurity modifies these associations–highlighting the importance of considering both factors in understanding reproductive health care use in Nepal. Policies and programs should focus on the multiple pathways through which food insecurity impacts women’s reproductive health, including focusing on women with the lowest status in households.

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<![CDATA[Measuring directional urban spatial interaction in China: A migration perspective]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcb4b

The study of urban spatial interaction is closely linked to that of economic geography, urban planning, regional development, and so on. Currently, this topic is generating a great deal of interest among researchers who are striving to find accurate ways to measure urban spatial interaction. Classical spatial interaction models lack theoretical guidance and require complicated parameter-adjusting processes. The radiation model, however, as proposed by Simini et al. with rigorous formula derivation, can simulate directional urban spatial interaction. We applied the radiation model in China to simulate the directional migration number among 337 nationwide research units, comprising 4 municipalities and 333 prefecture-level cities. We then analyzed the overall situation in Chinese cities, the interaction intensity hierarchy, and the prime urban agglomerations from the perspective of migration. This was done to ascertain China’s urban spatial interaction and regional development from 2000 to 2010 to reveal ground realities.

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<![CDATA[Rheumatoid Arthritis Was Negatively Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease: A Population-Based Case-Control Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da89ab0ee8fa60b9d254

Some of the prior literature investigated the potential association between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) because these two diseases may share similar inflammatory mechanisms. Nevertheless, to date, findings of the previous literature are still controversial, and some methodological limitations were observed in those studies. The aim of this case-control study was to investigate the relationship between prior RA and AD using a large population-based dataset. This study used the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005. We included 2271 patients with AD who had received prescriptions for acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) as cases and 6813 patients without AD as controls in this study. In addition, we performed a conditional logistic regression to examine the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for prior RA between cases and controls. The study found that 330 (3.63%) of the total sampled patients had an RA diagnosis before the index date. Additionally, prior RA was found in 60 (2.64%) cases and in 270 (3.96%) controls. The conditional logistic regression analysis showed that the crude OR of prior RA for cases was 0.66 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.49~0.87) compared to controls. After adjusting for patients’ geographic location, urbanization level, and comorbidities, the adjusted OR of prior RA for patients with AD was 0.73 (95% CI: 0.55~0.98) compared to those without AD. We concluded that there was an inverse association between prior RA and AD even after adjusting for potential confounders.

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<![CDATA[A Theoretical Basis for Entropy-Scaling Effects in Human Mobility Patterns]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7dab0ee8fa60b9930d

Characterizing how people move through space has been an important component of many disciplines. With the advent of automated data collection through GPS and other location sensing systems, researchers have the opportunity to examine human mobility at spatio-temporal resolution heretofore impossible. However, the copious and complex data collected through these logging systems can be difficult for humans to fully exploit, leading many researchers to propose novel metrics for encapsulating movement patterns in succinct and useful ways. A particularly salient proposed metric is the mobility entropy rate of the string representing the sequence of locations visited by an individual. However, mobility entropy rate is not scale invariant: entropy rate calculations based on measurements of the same trajectory at varying spatial or temporal granularity do not yield the same value, limiting the utility of mobility entropy rate as a metric by confounding inter-experimental comparisons. In this paper, we derive a scaling relationship for mobility entropy rate of non-repeating straight line paths from the definition of Lempel-Ziv compression. We show that the resulting formulation predicts the scaling behavior of simulated mobility traces, and provides an upper bound on mobility entropy rate under certain assumptions. We further show that this formulation has a maximum value for a particular sampling rate, implying that optimal sampling rates for particular movement patterns exist.

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<![CDATA[The Preference and Actual Use of Different Types of Rural Recreation Areas by Urban Dwellers—The Hamburg Case Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa3ab0ee8fa60ba6af6

In the wake of urbanisation processes and the constitution of metropolitan regions, the role of the city's rural surroundings is receiving more attention from researchers and planners as rural areas offer various (cultural) ecosystem services for the urban population. Urban dwellers increasingly desire recreation and landscape experience. Although this need for recreation is generally recognized, few studies have focused on the question of people's preferences for certain types and characteristics of outdoor recreation areas in relation to the frequency of use. In order to acquire baseline data on this subject, the main objectives of this study were to explore recreation preferences of urban dwellers and the relation between actual use and perceived value of recreation areas in a case study in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region (Germany). In a social survey, Hamburg residents (n = 400) were asked about their preferences and use of four important regional recreation areas with different landscape characteristics in face-to-face interviews in different locations in the city. We found that both outdoor recreation within and outside of the city were fairly or very important for more than 70% of the questioned urban dwellers. Interestingly, the preference for a recreation area outside of the city did not depend on the frequency of use, which indicates that certain recreation areas had a symbolic value besides their use value. When people were questioned on the characteristics of recreation areas, perceived naturalness was found to be strongly related to preference. Respondents considered the diversity, uniqueness, and naturalness of the landscape to be far more important than the accessibility of the recreation areas and the provision of service facilities.

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<![CDATA[Cross-Checking Different Sources of Mobility Information]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db07ab0ee8fa60bc8aab

The pervasive use of new mobile devices has allowed a better characterization in space and time of human concentrations and mobility in general. Besides its theoretical interest, describing mobility is of great importance for a number of practical applications ranging from the forecast of disease spreading to the design of new spaces in urban environments. While classical data sources, such as surveys or census, have a limited level of geographical resolution (e.g., districts, municipalities, counties are typically used) or are restricted to generic workdays or weekends, the data coming from mobile devices can be precisely located both in time and space. Most previous works have used a single data source to study human mobility patterns. Here we perform instead a cross-check analysis by comparing results obtained with data collected from three different sources: Twitter, census, and cell phones. The analysis is focused on the urban areas of Barcelona and Madrid, for which data of the three types is available. We assess the correlation between the datasets on different aspects: the spatial distribution of people concentration, the temporal evolution of people density, and the mobility patterns of individuals. Our results show that the three data sources are providing comparable information. Even though the representativeness of Twitter geolocated data is lower than that of mobile phone and census data, the correlations between the population density profiles and mobility patterns detected by the three datasets are close to one in a grid with cells of 2×2 and 1×1 square kilometers. This level of correlation supports the feasibility of interchanging the three data sources at the spatio-temporal scales considered.

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<![CDATA[Fewer acute respiratory infection episodes among patients receiving treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbb71

Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) present with comorbid complications with implications for healthcare utilization. To date, little is known about the effects of GERD treatment with a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) on patients’ subsequent healthcare utilization for acute respiratory infections (ARIs). This population-based study compared ARI episodes captured through outpatient visits, one year before and one year after GERD patients received PPI treatment. We used retrospective data from the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005 in Taiwan, comparing 21,486 patients diagnosed with GERD from 2010 to 2012 with 21,486 age-sex matched comparison patients without GERD. Annual ARI episodes represented by ambulatory care visits for ARI (visits during a 7-day period bundled into one episode), were compared between the patient groups during the 1-year period before and after the index date (date of GERD diagnosis for study patients, first ambulatory visit in the same year for their matched comparison counterpart). Multiple regression analysis using a difference-in-difference approach was performed to estimate the adjusted association between GERD treatment and the subsequent annual ARI rate. We found that the mean annual ARI episode rate among GERD patients reduced by 11.4%, from 4.39 before PPI treatment, to 3.89 following treatment (mean change = -0.5 visit, 95% confidence interval (CI) = (-0.64, -0.36)). In Poisson regression analysis, GERD treatment showed an independent association with the annual ARI rate, showing a negative estimate (with p<0.001). The study suggests that GERD treatment with PPIs may help reduce healthcare visits for ARIs, highlighting the importance of treatment-seeking by GERD patients and compliance with treatment.

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<![CDATA[The Effect of Geographical Proximity on Scientific Cooperation among Chinese Cities from 1990 to 2010]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0fab0ee8fa60b7913f

Background

The relations between geographical proximity and spatial distance constitute a popular topic of concern. Thus, how geographical proximity affects scientific cooperation, and whether geographically proximate scientific cooperation activities in fact exhibit geographic scale features should be investigated.

Methodology

Selected statistics from the ISI database on cooperatively authored papers, the authors of which resided in 60 typical cites in China, and which were published in the years 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2010, were used to establish matrices of geographic distance and cooperation levels between cities. By constructing a distance-cooperation model, the degree of scientific cooperation based on spatial distance was calculated. The relationship between geographical proximity and scientific cooperation, as well as changes in that relationship, was explored using the fitting function.

Result

(1) Instead of declining, the role of geographical proximity in inter-city scientific cooperation has increased gradually but significantly with the popularization of telecommunication technologies; (2) the relationship between geographical proximity and scientific cooperation has not followed a perfect declining curve, and at certain spatial scales, the distance-decay regularity does not work; (3) the Chinese scientific cooperation network gathers around different regional center cities, showing a trend towards a regional network; within this cooperation network the amount of inter-city cooperation occurring at close range increased greatly.

Conclusion

The relationship between inter-city geographical distance and scientific cooperation has been enhanced and strengthened over time.

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<![CDATA[Critical Environmental Factors for Transportation Cycling in Children: A Qualitative Study Using Bike-Along Interviews]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da27ab0ee8fa60b8142c

Background

Environmental factors are found to influence transport-related physical activity, but have rarely been studied in relation with cycling for transport to various destinations in 10–12 yr old children. The current qualitative study used ‘bike-along interviews’ with children and parents to allow discussion of detailed environmental factors that may influence children's cycling for transport, while cycling in the participant's neighborhood.

Methods

Purposeful convenience sampling was used to recruit 35 children and one of their parents residing in (semi-) urban areas. Bike-along interviews were conducted to and from a randomly chosen destination (e.g. library) within a 15 minutes' cycle trip in the participant's neighborhood. Participants wore a GoPro camera to objectively assess environmental elements, which were subsequently discussed with participants. Content analysis and arising themes were derived using a grounded theory approach.

Results

The discussed environmental factors were categorized under traffic, urban design, cycling facilities, road design, facilities at destination, aesthetics, topography, weather, social control, stranger danger and familiar environment. Across these categories many environmental factors were (in)directly linked to road safety. This was illustrated by detailed discussions of the children's visibility, familiarity with specific traffic situations, and degree of separation, width and legibility of cycle facilities.

Conclusion

Road safety is of major concern in this 10–12 yr old study population. Bike-along interviews were able to identify new, detailed and context-specific physical environmental factors which could inform policy makers to promote children's cycling for transport. However, future studies should investigate whether hypothetical changes to such micro environmental features influence perceptions of safety and if this in turn could lead to changes in children's cycling for transport.

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