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A direct approach to control short term population dynamics in time series studies
  1. Stefano Zauli Sajani,
  2. Fabiana Scotto,
  3. Paolo Lauriola
  1. Environmental Epidemiology Unit, ARPA Emilia Romagna, Modena, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr S Zauli Sajani
 Environmental Epidemiology Unit, ARPA Emilia Romagna, Viale Fontanelli 23, 41100 Modena, Italy;


Background: Short term population dynamics is an important issue in several epidemiological studies. Usually, calendar time or dummy variables are used to control indirectly for this confounding. This study tested a direct method.

Methods: The study compared as proxy variables of population dynamics the summer 2003 data of cooking gas consumptions, solid urban waste production, and television access for the municipality of Bologna (Italy).

Results: Solid urban waste production and television access data showed similar trends. Considerably different were the >65 year olds estimates with respect to total population based on television access.

Conclusions: Television access data are probably the best indicator in the estimates of population dynamics in large or densely populated areas, especially because of the possibility of stratifications with respect to age.

  • time series
  • confounding
  • short time population dynamics
  • risk evaluation

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  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.

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