Development, evaluation, and comparison of land use regression modelling methods to estimate residential exposure to nitrogen dioxide in a cohort study

Gillespie, Jonathan and Beverland, Iain and Hamilton, Scott and Padmanabhan, Sandosh (2016) Development, evaluation, and comparison of land use regression modelling methods to estimate residential exposure to nitrogen dioxide in a cohort study. Environmental Science and Technology, 50 (20). 11085–11093. ISSN 0013-936X

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    Abstract

    We used a network of 135 NO2 passive diffusion tube sites to develop land use regression (LUR) models in a UK conurbation. Network sites were divided into 4 groups (32 – 35 sites per group) and models developed using combinations of 1 - 3 groups of 'training' sites to evaluate how the number of training sites influenced model performance and residential NO2 exposure estimates for a cohort of 13,679 participants. All models explained moderate to high variance in training and independent 'hold-out' data (Training adj. R2: 62 – 89%; Hold-out R2: 44 – 85%). Average hold-out R2 increased by 9.5%, while average training adj. R2 decreased by 7.2% when the number of training groups was increased from 1 to 3. Exposure estimate precision improved with increasing number of training sites (median intra-site relative standard deviations of 19.2, 10.3, and 7.7% for 1-group, 2-group and 3-group models respectively). Independent 1-group models gave highly variable exposure estimates suggesting that variations in LUR sampling networks with relatively low numbers of sites (≤ 35) may substantially alter exposure estimates. Collectively, our analyses suggest that use of more than 60 training sites has quantifiable benefits in epidemiological application of LUR models.