I am working on formulating a regression problem where my dependent variable is the number of heart disease cases (count data) in a population. I am looking to do an ecological poisson-based regression.
I have crude rate per 100,000 population for smoking, where:
crude rate = (total number of smokers / total number of persons in the population) x 100,000
I would like to know if it is possible to directly use ' crude rates' as an independent, explanatory variable in my regression problem. Generally speaking, I know in regression problems 'percentages' can be used, but not sure about 'rates'. Any insights are welcome.