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Analyzing Irish suicide rates with mixture models.

Sofroniou, N. and Einbeck, J. and Hinde, J. (2006) 'Analyzing Irish suicide rates with mixture models.', in Proceedings of the 21st International Workshop on Statistical Modelling: IWSM 2006, 3-7 July 2006, Galway, Ireland. Galway: National University of Ireland, pp. 474-481. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Statistical Modelling.


In the analysis of morbidity and mortality data, variance component models are commonly used to provide an improvement in the estimation of rates for small regions which typically show large variability. This article investigates Irish suicide data using Poisson mixed models. The random effect distributions are estimated using Nonparametric Maximum likelihood which allows the calculation of shrinkage estimates from the posterior probability estimates of the EM algorithm, as well as the construction of `league tables'. As these models are inefficient in the case of spatial dependency, we investigate the addition of spatial autocorrelation terms based on neighboring average crude rates and standardized mortality ratios, as well as gender-specific versions of these. We consider models for the average crude rate as well as for the relative risk. A close correspondence between fitted values from both types of models suggests that information concerning within-region variability, incorporated in the parameters of the average crude rate model, appears indirectly in the simpler relative risk model by means of the expected values used in the offset term of the latter.

Item Type:Book chapter
Keywords:Generalized linear models, random effects, nonparametric maximum likelihood, spatial autocorrelation, suicide rates
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Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:08 April 2009
Date of first online publication:July 2006
Date first made open access:No date available

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