The development of a method to determine the burden of climate change on different health outcomes at a local scale: a case study in Osaka Prefecture, Japan
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- Macnee, R.G.D. & Tokai, A. Environ Syst Decis (2017). doi:10.1007/s10669-017-9636-7
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Climate change impacts human health in a variety of ways. Variables including the climate-related risk factor, the health outcome and location all determine the nature and extent of the impact. The existence of different pathways and endpoints presents a problem for quantifying and comparing impacts. Disability-adjusted life year (DALY) provides a common scale, whereby the impact of climate change on both acute and chronic health outcomes can be compared. This study presents a methodology to calculate the impact of climate change on human health at a local scale, using cardiovascular disease (CVD) and meteorological disaster-related injuries (DRIs) in Osaka Prefecture, Japan, as applied case studies. An additional very fine scale assessment of CVD conducted at the neighbourhood level to demonstrate the importance of conducting risk assessments at a local level. The comparative results calculated the impact of climate change in 2050 to be 16.866 DALY/100,000 population for CVD and 0.645 DALY/100,000 for meteorological DRIs. The actual impact of climate change by 2050 on CVD is judged to be higher, although the relative risk was projected to be lower (1.006, compared to 1.263 for meteorological DRIs). The fine scale assessment revealed the variations in the projected impact of climate change on CVD for all administrative zones in Osaka Prefecture. The range of impacts varied from 0 to 114.29 DALY/100,000. The results demonstrate the applicability of using DALY to quantify the impact of climate change on different health outcomes, using a transferable methodology, and provide information that enables evidence-based prioritisation of climate change adaptation strategies at a local scale.