Presentations

Event Title

Exploration of the Spatial Relationships between Lead and Pesticide Exposures and Neurodegenerative Disease Age-Adjusted Mortality Risk in North Carolina

Date

April 2021

Location

Online

Description

Community members in the Albemarle Region of North Carolina expressed concern about high rates of neurodegenerative diseases. Neurodegenerative disease is a comprehensive term for disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer’s disease, which affect neurons in the brain and spinal cord. There are multiple environmental risk factors which can contribute to neurodegenerative diseases, but this analysis focuses on exposure to lead and the pesticide Paraquat. The primary hypothesis is that neurodegenerative disease mortality risk will be positively correlated with increased county-level lead and pesticide exposure risk. Archival data for neurodegenerative disease mortality, elevated blood lead levels, and pesticide application was obtained for the 100 counties in North Carolina, from 2008 to 2017. ESRI’s ArcGIS mapping software was used to create numerous choropleth maps for spatial analysis and a hot-spot map. Overall, an Ordinary Least Squares multivariate regression model with blood lead levels and pesticide, successfully explained 5.4% of the variation in neurodegenerative disease age-adjusted mortality risk with an adjusted R2 value of .054 at a .026 significance level (p<.05). Assessing the exposure of neurotoxins per county is essential to understanding the relative risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases in each area, as environmental toxic exposures are spatially distributed.

Presentation Type

Presentation

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Exploration of the Spatial Relationships between Lead and Pesticide Exposures and Neurodegenerative Disease Age-Adjusted Mortality Risk in North Carolina

Online

Community members in the Albemarle Region of North Carolina expressed concern about high rates of neurodegenerative diseases. Neurodegenerative disease is a comprehensive term for disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer’s disease, which affect neurons in the brain and spinal cord. There are multiple environmental risk factors which can contribute to neurodegenerative diseases, but this analysis focuses on exposure to lead and the pesticide Paraquat. The primary hypothesis is that neurodegenerative disease mortality risk will be positively correlated with increased county-level lead and pesticide exposure risk. Archival data for neurodegenerative disease mortality, elevated blood lead levels, and pesticide application was obtained for the 100 counties in North Carolina, from 2008 to 2017. ESRI’s ArcGIS mapping software was used to create numerous choropleth maps for spatial analysis and a hot-spot map. Overall, an Ordinary Least Squares multivariate regression model with blood lead levels and pesticide, successfully explained 5.4% of the variation in neurodegenerative disease age-adjusted mortality risk with an adjusted R2 value of .054 at a .026 significance level (p<.05). Assessing the exposure of neurotoxins per county is essential to understanding the relative risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases in each area, as environmental toxic exposures are spatially distributed.