Weather changes associated with hospitalizations for cardiovascular diseases and stroke in California, 1983–1998
Poisson regression models were used to evaluate associations between temperature, precipitation, days of extreme heat, and other weather changes (lagged 7 days), as well as El Niño events, with hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, and stroke in three California regions. Temperature changes were defined as a 3 °C decrease in maximum temperature or a 3 °C increase in minimum temperature. Temperature and precipitation were analyzed separately for normal weather periods and El Niño events, and for both weather periods combined. Associations varied by region, age, and gender. In Los Angeles, temperature changes resulted in small changes in hospitalizations. Among San Francisco residents 70+ years of age, temperature changes increased hospitalizations for nearly all outcomes from 6% to 13%. Associations among Sacramento residents were similar to those in San Francisco: among men 70+ years of age, temperature changes increased hospitalizations by 6%–11% for acute myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure, and 10%–18% for stroke. El Niño events were consistently and significantly associated with hospitalizations only in San Francisco and Sacramento, and then only for angina pectoris (increasing hospitalizations during El Niño events). These exploratory analyses merit further confirmation to improve our understanding of how admissions to hospitals for cardiovascular disease and stroke change with changing weather. Such an understanding is useful for developing current public health responses, for evaluating population vulnerability, and for designing future adaptation measures.
KeywordsWeather El Niño Climate change Cardiovascular disease Stroke
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the California Energy Commission (CEC) under contract 500-97-043 and the Electric Power Research Institute. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and policies of the California Energy Commission or the state of California.
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