Leveraging Machine Learning to Characterize the Role of Socio-economic Determinants of Physical Health and Well-being Among Veterans
27 Pages Posted: 14 May 2020 Last revised: 4 Sep 2020
Date Written: April 19, 2020
Understanding the contribution of demographic, socio-economic, and geographic characteristics as determinants of physical health and well-being is important for guiding public health policies and preventative behavior interventions, particularly with the spread of coronavirus. We leverage several machine learning methods to build predictive models of overall well-being and physical health among veterans as a function of these three sets of characteristics. We link Gallup's U.S. Daily Poll between 2014 and 2017 over a range of demographic and socio-economic characteristics with zipcode characteristics from the Census Bureau to build predictive models of overall and physical well-being. Although the predictive models of overall well-being have weak performance, our classification of low levels of physical well-being performed better. Gradient boosting delivered the best results (80.2% precision, 82.4% recall, and 80.4% AUROC) with perceptions of purpose in the workplace and financial anxiety as the most predictive features. Our results suggest that additional measures of socio-economic characteristics are required to better predict physical well-being, particularly among vulnerable groups, like veterans. Reliable and effective predictive models will provide opportunities to create real-time and personalized feedback to help individuals improve their quality of life.
Keywords: Artificial intelligence, machine learning, medical informatics, subjective well-being, veterans
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