Modeling and Predicting Pulmonary Tuberculosis Incidence and Its Association with Air Pollution and Meteorological Factors Using an ARIMAX Model: An Ecological Study in Ningbo of China


The autoregressive integrated moving average with exogenous regressors (ARIMAX) modeling studies of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) are still rare. This study aims to explore whether incorporating air pollution and meteorological factors can improve the performance of a time series model in predicting PTB. We collected the monthly incidence of PTB, records of six air pollutants and six meteorological factors in Ningbo of China from January 2015 to December 2019. Then, we constructed the ARIMA, univariate ARIMAX, and multivariate ARIMAX models. The ARIMAX model incorporated ambient factors, while the ARIMA model did not. After prewhitening, the cross-correlation analysis showed that PTB incidence was related to air pollution and meteorological factors with a lag effect. Air pollution and meteorological factors also had a correlation. We found that the multivariate ARIMAX model incorporating both the ozone with 0-month lag and the atmospheric pressure with 11-month lag had the best performance for predicting the incidence of PTB in 2019, with the lowest fitted mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) of 2.9097% and test MAPE of 9.2643%. However, ARIMAX has limited improvement in prediction accuracy compared with the ARIMA model. Our study also suggests the role of protecting the environment and reducing pollutants in controlling PTB and other infectious diseases.

Authors: Yun-Peng Chen, Le-Fan Liu, Yang Che, Jing Huang, Guo-Xing Li, Guo-Xin Sang, Zhi-Qiang Xuan, Tian-Feng He
; Full Source: International journal of environmental research and public health 2022 Apr 28;19(9):5385. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19095385.