Linking public health data using geographic information system techniques: Alaskan community characteristics and infant mortality

Stat Med. 1995;14(5-7):481-90. doi: 10.1002/sim.4780140509.


This article identifies geographical contexts important in differentiating infant mortality in Alaska and uses spatial processing models to link and analyse multi-source data. Information characterizing geographical locations are collected from Alaska's vital statistics for the years 1982-91 and the 1990 Census. Geographic information system (GIS) techniques are applied to identify spatially homogeneous regions, assess spatial compatibility across databases, and allocate geographical units across boundaries. A primary goal of this paper is to encourage spatial linkage and analysis techniques for vital statistics and census data. By demonstrating the interplay of tabular, graphical, and mapping techniques on Alaskan infant mortality, this analysis describes procedures for conducting epidemiological research with data spatially defined at distinct geographical levels.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Alaska / epidemiology
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Demography
  • Epidemiologic Methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Information Systems*
  • Mathematical Computing
  • Medical Record Linkage*
  • Models, Statistical