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Time series analysis in environmental epidemiology: challenges and considerations.

In environmental epidemiology, time series analyses represent a widely used statistical tool. However, though being commonly used, there is soften confusion regarding the specific requirements, such as which link function might be most appropriate, when or how to control for seasonality or how to account for lags. The present overview draws from experiences in other disciplines and discusses the proper execution of time series analyses based on considerations that are relevant in environmental epidemiology. Time series analysis in environmental epidemiology focuses on acute events caused by short-term changes in exposure. These exposures should be fairly wide-spread affecting a large number of persons, usually all inhabitants of a political entity. Pollutants in air or drinking water as well as meteorological factors serve as typical examples. Despite the many time series analyses performed world-wide, some health effects that would lend themselves to that approach are still under-explored. This would include also some neurological and psychiatric endpoints. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2023;36(6).

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