Open Access
March 2017 Efficient estimation of age-specific social contact rates between men and women
Jan van de Kassteele, Jan van Eijkeren, Jacco Wallinga
Ann. Appl. Stat. 11(1): 320-339 (March 2017). DOI: 10.1214/16-AOAS1006


Social contact patterns reveal with whom individuals tend to socialize, and therefore to whom they transmit respiratory infections. We infer highly detailed age-specific contact rates between the sexes using a hierarchical Bayesian model that smooths while simultaneously guaranteeing the inherent reciprocity of contact rates. Application of this approach to social contact data from a large prospective survey confirms a tendency that people, especially children and adolescents, mostly contact other people of their own age and sex, and reveals that women have more contact with children than men. These findings imply different exposure patterns between the two sexes for specific age groups, which agrees with available observations.


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Jan van de Kassteele. Jan van Eijkeren. Jacco Wallinga. "Efficient estimation of age-specific social contact rates between men and women." Ann. Appl. Stat. 11 (1) 320 - 339, March 2017.


Received: 1 August 2016; Revised: 1 November 2016; Published: March 2017
First available in Project Euclid: 8 April 2017

zbMATH: 1366.62251
MathSciNet: MR3634326
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/16-AOAS1006

Keywords: Gaussian Markov random field , hierarchical Bayesian model , infectious disease transmission , integrated nested Laplace approximations , Social contact patterns

Rights: Copyright © 2017 Institute of Mathematical Statistics

Vol.11 • No. 1 • March 2017
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