The impact of extreme heat on morbidity in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- 329 Downloads
Given predictions of increased intensity and frequency of heat waves, it is important to study the effect of high temperatures on human mortality and morbidity. Many studies focus on heat wave-related mortality; however, heat-related morbidity is often overlooked. The goals of this study are to examine the historical observed relationship between temperature and morbidity (illness), and explore the extent to which observed historical relationships could be used to generate future projections of morbidity under climate change. We collected meteorological, air pollution, and hospital admissions data in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for the years 1989–2005, and employed a generalized additive model (GAM) to quantify the relationship between morbidity (as measured by hospital admissions) and high temperatures with adjustment for the effects of potential confounders. We also estimated temperature threshold values for different causes of hospital admissions and then quantified the associated percent increase of admissions per degree above the threshold. Finally, the future impact of higher temperatures on admissions for the years 2059–2075 was examined. Our results show that five causes of admission (endocrine, genitourinary, renal, accidental, and self-harm) and three age groups (15–64, 75–84, >85 years) were affected by high temperatures. Future projections indicate a larger number of days above the current temperature threshold leading to an increase in admissions. Our results indicate that climate change may increase heat-related hospital admissions in the US urban mid-West and that health systems should include heat wave planning.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Confalonieri U et al (2007) Human health. In: Parry M et al (eds) Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 391–431Google Scholar
- Knowlton K, Rotkin-Ellman M, King G, Margolis HG, Smith D, Solomon G, Trent R, English P (2009) The 2006 California heat wave: impacts on hospitalizations and emergency department visits. Environ Health Perspect 117:61–67Google Scholar
- Mearns LO, Hulme M, Carter TR, Leemans R, Lal M, Whetton P (2001) Climate scenario development (Chapter 13). In: Houghton JT et al (eds) Climate change 2001: the scientific basis. Contribut ion of working goup I to the third assessment report of the IPCC. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 583–638Google Scholar
- Meehl G et al (2007) Global climate projections. In: Solomon et al (eds) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovenmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 747–845Google Scholar
- Nakićenović N et al (2000) Special report on emissions scenarios. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Nitschke M, Tucker GR, Bi P (2007) Morbidity and mortality during heatwaves in metropolitan Adelaide. Med J Aust 187:662–665Google Scholar
- Peng R, Bell M (2010) Spatial misalignment in time series studies of air pollution and health data. This paper considers the point data of air pollution and area average of health data. Tech ReportGoogle Scholar
- Wheeler M (1976) Heat stroke in the elderly. Med Clin North Am 60:1289–1296Google Scholar