Journal Article

Prior Information in Behavioral Capture-Recapture Methods: Demographic Influences on Drug Injectors' Propensity to Be Listed in Data Sources and Their Drug-related Mortality

Ruth King, Sheila M. Bird, Steve P. Brooks, Sharon J. Hutchinson and Gordon Hay

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 162, issue 7, pages 694-703
Published in print October 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwi263
Prior Information in Behavioral Capture-Recapture Methods: Demographic Influences on Drug Injectors' Propensity to Be Listed in Data Sources and Their Drug-related Mortality

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The authors present findings from a Bayesian analysis of Scotland's four primary capture-recapture data sources for 2000 that was carried out to estimate numbers of current injecting drug users by region (Greater Glasgow vs. elsewhere in Scotland), sex (male vs. female), and age group (15–34 years vs. ≥35 years). A secondary goal of the analysis was to obtain Bayesian estimates and credible intervals for the demographic influences on Scotland's drug-related death rate per 100 current injectors. Incorporation of informative priors altered the models with highest posterior probability. Expert opinion on how demography influenced Scottish drug injectors' propensity to be listed in different data sources was taken into account, along with external information about European injectors' drug-related death rates and male:female ratios. Higher drug-related mortality was confirmed in older drug injectors and those outside of Greater Glasgow. Female injectors' lower drug-related death rate was not sustained beyond 34 years of age. The authors recommend that demographic influences be accommodated in behavioral capture-recapture estimation, especially when it is a prelude to secondary analysis, such as the analysis of drug-related death rates presented here.

Keywords: Bayes theorem; data collection; epidemiologic methods; models, statistical; mortality; prevalence; substance abuse, intravenous; DMD, Drug Misuse Database; HCV, hepatitis C virus; HPDI, highest probability density interval; IDU, injecting drug user

Journal Article.  6452 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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