Spatio-temporal Trends in Opioid Overdose Deaths by Race for Counties in Ohio

Department of Mathematics & Statistics


Staci Hepler
Wake Forest University

Thursday, September 24, 2020
11am – 12pm
Virtual Lecture

“Spatio-temporal Trends in Opioid Overdose Deaths by Race for Counties in Ohio”

The opioid epidemic continues to be an ongoing public health crisis in the United States.  Initially, large increases in overdose death rates were observed in largely rural, White communities. This led to the perception that the opioid epidemic was primarily a problem for the White population. However, recent findings have shown increasing rates of opioid overdose death among the Black population. We fit a Bayesian multivariate spatial rates model to compare overdose rates between the two racial groups and explore county-level spatio-temporal heterogeneity in Ohio. We found that while county-level death rates for the White population were higher early in the study period, opioid overdose death rates were increasing faster for the Black population. The opioid epidemic spans racial groups in Ohio and should be framed inclusively to ensure equitable allocation of resources.

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