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Assessing effects of structural zeros on models of canine cancer incidence: a case study of the Swiss canine cancer registry

Assessing effects of structural zeros on models of canine cancer incidence: a case study of the Swiss canine cancer registry
Assessing effects of structural zeros on models of canine cancer incidence: a case study of the Swiss canine cancer registry

Epidemiological research of canine cancers could inform comparative studies of environmental determinants for a number of human cancers. However, such an approach is currently limited because canine cancer data sources are still few in number and often incomplete. Incompleteness is typically due to under-ascertainment of canine cancers. A main reason for this is because dog owners commonly do not seek veterinary care for this diagnosis. Deeper knowledge on under-ascertainment is critical for modelling canine cancer incidence, as an indication of zero incidence might originate from the sole absence of diagnostic examinations within a given sample unit. In the present case study, we investigated effects of such structural zeros on models of canine cancer incidence. In doing so, we contrasted two scenarios for modelling incidence data retrieved from the Swiss Canine Cancer Registry. The first scenario was based on the complete enumeration of incidence data for all Swiss municipal units. The second scenario was based on a filtered sample that systematically discarded structural zeros in those municipal units where no diagnostic examination had been performed. By means of cross-validation, we assessed and contrasted statistical performance and predictive power of the two modelling scenarios. This analytical step allowed us to demonstrate that structural zeros impact on the generalisability of the model of canine cancer incidence, thus challenging future comparative studies of canine and human cancers. The results of this case study show that increased awareness about the effects of structural zeros is critical to epidemiological research.

Canine cancer registries, Cross validation, Regression analysis, Structural zeros, Under-ascertainment
1827-1987
121-129
Boo, Gianluca
d49f7aaa-6d95-4e36-b9be-e469911c4a3d
Leyk, Stefan
00f91399-4d02-488d-833f-c3cd53538139
Fabrikant, Sara Irina
10e73f2e-3343-4ef1-9a07-b0fe43acc96c
Pospischil, Andreas
9d5d0e71-7d0a-4f5a-b7c3-77edcdd74a24
Graf, Ramona
8c76754f-e3a7-4d88-b952-cb8a4165d359
Boo, Gianluca
d49f7aaa-6d95-4e36-b9be-e469911c4a3d
Leyk, Stefan
00f91399-4d02-488d-833f-c3cd53538139
Fabrikant, Sara Irina
10e73f2e-3343-4ef1-9a07-b0fe43acc96c
Pospischil, Andreas
9d5d0e71-7d0a-4f5a-b7c3-77edcdd74a24
Graf, Ramona
8c76754f-e3a7-4d88-b952-cb8a4165d359

Boo, Gianluca, Leyk, Stefan, Fabrikant, Sara Irina, Pospischil, Andreas and Graf, Ramona (2017) Assessing effects of structural zeros on models of canine cancer incidence: a case study of the Swiss canine cancer registry. Geospatial Health, 12 (1), 121-129. (doi:10.4081/gh.2017.539).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Epidemiological research of canine cancers could inform comparative studies of environmental determinants for a number of human cancers. However, such an approach is currently limited because canine cancer data sources are still few in number and often incomplete. Incompleteness is typically due to under-ascertainment of canine cancers. A main reason for this is because dog owners commonly do not seek veterinary care for this diagnosis. Deeper knowledge on under-ascertainment is critical for modelling canine cancer incidence, as an indication of zero incidence might originate from the sole absence of diagnostic examinations within a given sample unit. In the present case study, we investigated effects of such structural zeros on models of canine cancer incidence. In doing so, we contrasted two scenarios for modelling incidence data retrieved from the Swiss Canine Cancer Registry. The first scenario was based on the complete enumeration of incidence data for all Swiss municipal units. The second scenario was based on a filtered sample that systematically discarded structural zeros in those municipal units where no diagnostic examination had been performed. By means of cross-validation, we assessed and contrasted statistical performance and predictive power of the two modelling scenarios. This analytical step allowed us to demonstrate that structural zeros impact on the generalisability of the model of canine cancer incidence, thus challenging future comparative studies of canine and human cancers. The results of this case study show that increased awareness about the effects of structural zeros is critical to epidemiological research.

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539-Article Text-3107-3-10-20170608 - Version of Record
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 18 April 2017
Published date: 11 May 2017
Keywords: Canine cancer registries, Cross validation, Regression analysis, Structural zeros, Under-ascertainment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 429056
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/429056
ISSN: 1827-1987
PURE UUID: 55d1b9dc-c439-4af4-91b5-33e1fdea2c5d
ORCID for Gianluca Boo: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4078-8221

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Date deposited: 20 Mar 2019 17:30
Last modified: 21 Mar 2019 01:21

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