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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 100, Issue 3, pp 237–240 | Cite as

Heat Awareness and Response among Montreal Residents with Chronic Cardiac and Pulmonary Disease

  • Tom KosatskyEmail author
  • Julie Dufresne
  • Lucie Richard
  • Annie Renouf
  • Nadia Giannetti
  • Jean Bourbeau
  • Marcel Julien
  • Joseph Braidy
  • Claude Sauvé
Quantitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Objectives

Persons affected by chronic heart and lung disease risk illness and death through exposure to extreme ambient heat. Here we describe their knowledge and awareness of the risks, and the degree to which they practice the protective behaviours recommended by public health and meteorological authorities.

Methods

Over the course of a hot Montreal summer, chronic cardiac and/or pulmonary insufficiency patients were recruited sequentially on site or by telephone from among attendees at five Montreal university hospital clinics. A one-hour face-to-face structured interview was completed by 238 patients, of whom 78% were at least 60 years of age.

Results

Participants were well informed about extreme heat and its impact on health. Most see themselves as vulnerable to heat, recall extreme heat advisories, and all adopt at least one recommended protective measure. Of the participants, 68% spend time in an air-conditioned space during extreme heat episodes, and more than 75% reduce their physical activity and drink extra fluids. A small minority resists recourse to air conditioning: of those without, 32% have “little confidence in buying an air conditioner” even if so advised by their caregivers, and 25% would refuse to overnight in an air-conditioned shelter during a prolonged heat wave.

Conclusions

These chronically ill respondents perceive themselves as susceptible to extreme heat, have confidence in prevention, and almost all adopt recommended protective behaviours. A minority resists protective messaging.

Key words

Heat health risks knowledge COPD heart failure 

Résumé

Objectifs

Les personnes souffrant de maladies cardiaques et pulmonaires chroniques sont à risque de maladies et de mortalité lors de l’exposition à la chaleur accablante. Cette étude décrit leur connaissance et leur perception des risques et du degré auquel elles appliquent les moyens de protection recommandés par les instances de santé publique et de météorologie.

Méthode

Durant un été particulièrement chaud à Montréal, des patients atteints d’insuffisance cardiaque et/ou pulmonaire ont été recrutés parmi la clientèle inscrite dans cinq cliniques d’hôpitaux universitaires, sur place ou par téléphone. 238 participants, desquels 78 % avaient au moins 60 ans, ont complété une entrevue structurée face-à-face d’une durée d’une heure.

Résultats

Les participants étaient bien informés à propos de la chaleur accablante et de son impact sur la santé. La plupart reconnaissent leur vulnérabilité à la chaleur, se rappellent avoir entendu les avertissements de chaleur accablante et tous adoptent au moins un des moyens de protection recommandés. 68 % des participants passent du temps dans un endroit climatisé durant les épisodes de chaleur accablante. Plus de 75 % des participants réduisent leurs activités physiques et boivent plus de liquide. Une minorité de participants résistent au recours à l’air climatisé. Parmi ceux qui ne possèdent pas de climatiseur, 32 % sont «peu confiant à l’idée de se procurer un climatiseur» même lorsque suggéré par leur équipe soignante et 25 % refuseraient de passer une nuit dans un refuge climatisé lors d’une période de chaleur accablante qui se prolonge.

Conclusions

Ces participants ayant une maladie chronique se perçoivent susceptibles à la chaleur accablante, ont confiance en la prévention et pratiquement tous adoptent des moyens de protection recommandés. Une minorité résiste au message de prévention.

Mots clés

chaleur risques sanitaires connaissances MPOC arrêt du coeur 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Kosatsky
    • 1
    Email author
  • Julie Dufresne
    • 1
  • Lucie Richard
    • 2
  • Annie Renouf
    • 1
  • Nadia Giannetti
    • 3
  • Jean Bourbeau
    • 3
  • Marcel Julien
    • 4
  • Joseph Braidy
    • 5
  • Claude Sauvé
    • 4
  1. 1.DSP de Montréal (Public Health)MontréalCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of NursingUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Department of MedicineMcGill University Hospital CentreMontréalCanada
  4. 4.Hôpital Sacré Coeur de MontréalMontréalCanada
  5. 5.Department of MedicineCentre hospitalière de l’Université de MontréalMontréalCanada

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