Theses Doctoral

Predictive Modeling to Learn More about the Effects of Social Determinants of Health on COVID-19 Seropositivity; The Role of Machine Learning Technologies in Public Health

Mewani, Apeksha Harish

This study aimed to i) investigate the prevalence of unhealthy attributes, common diseases, and inequities in social determinants of health across a large and representative sample of adults in New York City; and ii) identify common key predictors of COVID-19 seropositivity by comparing various regression models using a hierarchical regression method among a sample of New York City adults. The study will use the New York City Community Health Survey (NYC CHS) 2020 dataset for this analysis. An exploratory approach is used to data to understand the social, environmental, and individual determinants of health in the New York City population at the peak of the pandemic and their effects on COVID-19 seropositivity.

The study also emphasizes on using a predictive modeling approach to develop and select an optimal ML model that accurately predicts COVID-19 seropositivity from various ML algorithms. Hierarchical logistic regression was carried out on a sample of 928 participants. It was found that age group 65-75, Black and Hispanic race and being born in the US were statistically significant factors in model 1 of the hierarchical regression where only socioeconomic factors were considered. With the inclusion of health behaviors, tobacco smoking behaviors, and physical activity were statistically significant. In the full model, BMI, asthma prevalence, and suicidal thoughts were statistically significantly correlated with COVID-19 seropositivity. The findings are consistent with public health literature highlighting the importance of healthy behaviors and public health efforts in maintaining overall health and immunity.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Health and Behavior Studies
Thesis Advisors
Rajan, Sonali
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
November 1, 2023