Excessive Heat and Respiratory Hospitalizations in New York State: Estimating Current and Future Public Health Burden Related to Climate Change

Center for Environmental Health, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, USA.
Environmental Health Perspectives (Impact Factor: 7.98). 08/2012; 120(11). DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1104728
Source: PubMed


Background: Although many climate-sensitive environmental exposures are related to mortality and morbidity, there is a paucity of estimates of the public health burden attributable to climate change.
Objective: We estimated the excess current and future public health impacts related to respiratory hospitalizations attributable to extreme heat in summer in New York State (NYS) overall, its geographic regions, and across different demographic strata.
Methods: On the basis of threshold temperature and percent risk changes identified from our study in NYS, we estimated recent and future attributable risks related to extreme heat due to climate change using the global climate model with various climate scenarios. We estimated effects of extreme high apparent temperature in summer on respiratory admissions, days hospitalized, direct hospitalization costs, and lost productivity from days hospitalized after adjusting for inflation.
Results: The estimated respiratory disease burden attributable to extreme heat at baseline (1991–2004) in NYS was 100 hospital admissions, US$644,069 in direct hospitalization costs, and 616 days of hospitalization per year. Projections for 2080–2099 based on three different climate scenarios ranged from 206–607 excess hospital admissions, US$26–$76 million in hospitalization costs, and 1,299–3,744 days of hospitalization per year. Estimated impacts varied by geographic region and population demographics.
Conclusions: We estimated that excess respiratory admissions in NYS due to excessive heat would be 2 to 6 times higher in 2080–2099 than in 1991–2004. When combined with other heat-associated diseases and mortality, the potential public health burden associated with global warming could be substantial.

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Available from: Shubhayu Saha, Aug 22, 2014
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    • "Y.J. McDonald et al. / Social Science & Medicine 133 (2015) 242e252 249 is a limitation of our case study, it is not a limitation of the general model. In implementing our asthma projection, we used estimated increase from Lin et al. (2012), as they actually perform a climate change respiratory health impact projection analysis. Even though the projection is based on an analysis of New York, it is the best climate change-respiratory health impact projection analogue currently available in the literature. "
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    Social Science & Medicine 10/2014; 133. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.10.032 · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    • "According to climate change projections, the risk for heat exposure will continue to increase due to the increased frequency, longer duration and greater intensity of hot spells [18,19]. Targeted adaptation strategies are needed in order to counteract upcoming health hazards, in particular in patients with advanced COPD. "
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