Temperature extremes and health: impacts of climate variability and change in the United States.
ABSTRACT We evaluated temperature-related morbidity and mortality for the 2007 U.S. national assessment on impacts of climate change and variability on human health.
We assessed literature published since the 2000 national assessment, evaluating epidemiologic studies, surveys, and studies projecting future impacts.
Under current climate change projections, heat waves and hot weather are likely to increase in frequency, with the overall temperature distribution shifting away from the colder extremes. Vulnerable subgroups include communities in the northeastern and Midwestern U.S.; urban populations, the poor, the elderly, children, and those with impaired health or limited mobility.
Temperature extremes and variability will remain important determinants of health in the United States under climate change. Research needs include estimating exposure to temperature extremes; studying nonfatal temperature-related illness; uniform criteria for reporting heat-related health outcomes; and improving effectiveness of urban heat island reduction and extreme weather response plans.
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ABSTRACT: The health impacts of exposure to summertime heat are a significant problem in New York City (NYC) and for many cities and are expected to increase with a warming climate. Most studies on heat-related mortality have examined risk factors at the municipal or regional scale and may have missed the intra-urban variation of vulnerability that might inform prevention strategies. We evaluated whether place-based characteristics (socioeconomic/demographic and health factors, as well as the built and biophysical environment) may be associated with greater risk of heat-related mortality for seniors during heat events in NYC. As a measure of relative vulnerability to heat, we used the natural cause mortality rate ratio among those aged 65 and over (MRR65+), comparing extremely hot days (maximum heat index 100°F+) to all warm season days, across 1997-2006 for NYC's 59 Community Districts and 42 United Hospital Fund neighborhoods. Significant positive associations were found between the MRR65+ and neighborhood-level characteristics: poverty, poor housing conditions, lower rates of access to air-conditioning, impervious land cover, surface temperatures aggregated to the area-level, and seniors' hypertension. Percent Black/African American and household poverty were strong negative predictors of seniors' air conditioning access in multivariate regression analysis.Health & Place 09/2014; 30C:45-60. DOI:10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.07.014 · 2.44 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Research on how heat impacts human health has increased as climate change threatens to raise temperatures to new extremes. Excessive heat exposure increases death rates, as well as rates of nonfatal, adverse health outcomes. This study used the negative binomial regression model to examine the relationship between daily maximum temperature, heat index, and heat-related emergency calls in Phoenix, Arizona and Chicago, Illinois, from 2003 to 2006. Using model results, we estimated call volumes in a warmer climate, with temperature increase from 1 to 5.5 °C. We found that: (1) heat-stress calls increase sharply when the temperature exceeds about 35 °C in Chicago and in 45 °C Phoenix; (2) warmer climate could seriously threaten human health and existing emergency response system in Chicago more than in Phoenix. Policies to reduce heat impacts in Phoenix should focus on reducing prolonged heat exposure, while Chicago should build a strong early-warning system for extreme heat events and provide sufficient resources and infrastructure to mitigate heat stress during those events.Urban Climate 10/2013; 5:1–18. DOI:10.1016/j.uclim.2013.07.003 · 0.36 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Young children are thought to be particularly sensitive to heat waves, but relatively less research attention has been paid to this field to date. A systematic review was conducted to elucidate the relationship between heat waves and children's health. Literature published up to August 2012 were identified using the following MeSH terms and keywords: "heatwave", "heat wave", "child health", "morbidity", "hospital admission", "emergency department visit", "family practice", "primary health care", "death" and "mortality". Of the 628 publications identified, 12 met the selection criteria. The existing literature does not consistently suggest that mortality among children increases significantly during heat waves, even though infants were associated with more heat-related deaths. Exposure to heat waves in the perinatal period may pose a threat to children's health. Pediatric diseases or conditions associated with heat waves include renal disease, respiratory disease, electrolyte imbalance and fever. Future research should focus on how to develop a consistent definition of a heat wave from a children's health perspective, identifying the best measure of children's exposure to heat waves, exploring sensitive outcome measures to quantify the impact of heat waves on children, evaluating the possible impacts of heat waves on children's birth outcomes, and understanding the differences in vulnerability to heat waves among children of different ages and from different income countries. Projection of the children's disease burden caused by heat waves under climate change scenarios, and development of effective heat wave mitigation and adaptation strategies that incorporate other child protective health measures, are also strongly recommended.International Journal of Biometeorology 03/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00484-013-0655-x · 2.10 Impact Factor