Major heat waves of 2003 and 2006 and health outcomes in Prague
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We have investigated the association between heat waves and mortality and hospital admissions for Prague inhabitants for the summer heat waves of August 2003 and July 2006. The effect of heat waves was investigated using negative binomial regression in a generalized additive model. We used a linear model on a logarithmic scale, having 1-day lagged temperature differences from the long-term average, 1-day lagged ambient O3 and PM10 concentration, relative humidity, simple “heat wave” indicator, and smooth seasonal effect as explanatory variables. We found a small increase in daily mortality for the examined period. This increase can be attributed to PM10 concentrations in most cases, and in fewer instances, to air temperature and O3 concentrations. The “heat wave” indicator did not significantly increase the relative risk; the same held for the relative humidity. For the general unstratified population, the highest increase in relative risk of 1.072 (95% CI 1.001–1.147) was observed for cardiovascular mortality and was associated with an increase in temperature of 10 °C, followed by an increase in relative risk of 1.056 (95% CI 1.025–1.087) for respiratory mortality associated with an increase in O3 concentrations by 10 μg.m−3. A higher risk in most cases was found for women. A significant increase of relative risk of 1.013 (95 % CI 1.002–1.024) due to PM10 was found for hospital admissions for cardiovascular causes. This issue should be studied further in view of the anticipated increase in meteorological extremes, including heat waves, in the future, to prepare prevention plans for eliminating their negative effects as far as possible.
KeywordsGeneralized additive model Heat wave Hospital admissions Mortality Negative binomial regression Ozone PM10 Temperature
This study was funded partly by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic under the NPVII research programme, Grant No. 2B08077 (Project INAIR) and supported partly by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, project No. M100300904. The data on air pollution and meteorology were kindly provided by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. We highly appreciate the comments of Professor Jonathan M. Samet that helped to improve our manuscript.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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