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For older adults, flu season tends to peak first in Nevada, last in Maine
Date:4/15/2010

5 have the highest rates of complications or death as a result of the flu, and studying the patterns of influenza in this population will help us better predict when and where an especially intense season will occur," said Naumova.

Naumova and first author Julia Wenger, MPH, a student at the time and now a graduate of the Master of Public Health program at Tufts University School of Medicine, analyzed hospitalization records from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 1991 to 2004 and identified more than 248,000 hospitalization records relating to flu. The researchers used dynamic mapping as one of the tools to visualize data from each of the 48 states and Washington, DC, for each of the 13 influenza seasons, measured from July 1 and ending on June 30.

"By synthesizing this data in dynamic maps, we can visualize a huge volume of data in a compact form. This approach allows us to assess the data and identify patterns which are hard to detect when using traditional means of data analysis," said Naumova.

This study, published in PLoS ONE, is one of four recent studies Naumova has co-authored that examines risk factors for influenza in an older adult population. In earlier research, Naumova and colleagues developed a dynamic mapping tool that allows researchers to create a visual representation of data over time. The team created a set of principles designed to enhance the use of dynamic mapping technology in epidemiological research, which Naumova applied in this study and is using in her ongoing study of influenza in the older adult population.


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Contact: Siobhan Gallagher
617-636-6586
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert  

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