Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Quantifying Demographic Disparities of Red Tide Exposure and Complications in Sarasota and Manatee Counties: A Pilot Study

Mlodgenski, Paul (2024) Quantifying Demographic Disparities of Red Tide Exposure and Complications in Sarasota and Manatee Counties: A Pilot Study. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF
Restricted to University of Pittsburgh users only until 14 May 2025.

Download (1MB) | Request a Copy


Florida harmful algal blooms, commonly known as red tides, are attributed to exponential growth of Karenia brevis (K. brevis). During a bloom period, not only is there severe ecological disruption, but humans and other animals experience multisystemic pathophysiological effects. While many respiratory effects associated with red tide exposure are known, there has not been a study to date that quantifies exposure to exponential cell growth and respiratory distress across demographic groups. Cell count data aggregated in the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Monitoring Database along with respiratory irritation data from Mote Marine Laboratory’s Beach Conditioning Reporting System collected from volunteer beachgoers across multiple sampling sites in Sarasota and Manatee counties in Florida were obtained. We used spatial statistics to map possible associations between eight demographic variables including percentage of individuals with asthma, percentage of persons without internet, percentage of persons who are uninsured, percentage of minority persons, persons aged 65 and older estimate, persons aged 17 and younger estimate, percentage of civilian noninstitutionalized population with a disability estimate, and percentage of persons (age 5+) who speak English “less than well” estimate. Demographic variable densities geocoded as census tracts were compared with locations for the most severe burden of exposure and outcomes of red tide. The results of these analyzes support a statistically significant difference between Manatee and Sarasota counties in cell count severity. The results of these analyzes do not support a statistically significant difference between Manatee and Sarasota counties in respiratory irritation severity. These conclusions are supported through Wilcoxon Rank Sum p-values of 0.007 and 0004 and a Kruskal Wallis p-value of 0.865 to assess exposure and outcomes between the two counties, respectively. Given that Sarasota County has a greater burden of red tide exposure, these analyzes indicate that targeted intervention should consider spatial demographic data when communicating red tide primary prevention strategies to adversely burdened populations including those with asthma, those of 65 years of age, those 17 and younger, those who are uninsured, and those without internet access. Further, our results provide insight that could improve public health communication of harmful algal blooms to these adversely burden populations.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mlodgenski, Paulpjm117@pitt.edupjm1170009-0007-0925-3505
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee MemberDing, Yingyingding@pitt.eduyingding
Committee MemberRoberts, Laurellaurel.roberts@pitt.edulaurel.roberts
Committee MemberCarroll, Roryroc100@pitt.eduroc100
Committee MemberGlynn, Nancyepidnwg@pitt.eduepidnwg
Thesis AdvisorHaggerty, Catherinehaggertyc@edc.pitt.eduhaggertyc
Date: 14 May 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 10 April 2024
Approval Date: 14 May 2024
Submission Date: 26 April 2024
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 82
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Used spatial statistics to examine red tide exposure and complications across demographic groups in Sarasota and Manatee Counties
Date Deposited: 14 May 2024 18:37
Last Modified: 14 May 2024 18:37


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item