Risk factors of death from flood: Findings of a systematic review



The number of flood disaster deaths has been on the rise in recent years. The current review investigated and categorized the risk factors of deaths from floods in parallel with preventive and control measures designed to minimize deaths from floods.


In a systematic review, International electronic databases including PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar were investigated for articles published in English language. In addition, Iranian databases including IranMedex, Irandoc, Magiran, and Scientific Information Database (SID) were investigated for studies published in Persian. ProQuest database was also searched for related theses. The studies were selected regardless their methods but based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The data were extracted, coded and prepared for further analysis. Finally, descriptive and thematic analyses were conducted.


A total of 114 factors were identified and categorized into the following five category that can influence on flood death.: hazard related factors, and individual, environmental, socio-economic, and managerial categories.


The study identified many factors that affect flood deaths. The variety and the diverse nature of the factors necessitate appropriate interventions for removing or reducing the effects of the identified factors. More quantitative analytical studies are needed to confirm causal relationship between extracted factors and floods death.

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This study was carried out with the support of the Department of Health in Emergencies and Disasters, Department of Climate Change and Health, and School of Public Health at Tehran University of Medical Sciences. We thank Mohsen Noori, PhD student for providing the figure used in the paper.

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Correspondence to Ali Ardalan.

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Yari, A., Ostadtaghizadeh, A., Ardalan, A. et al. Risk factors of death from flood: Findings of a systematic review. J Environ Health Sci Engineer (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40201-020-00511-x

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  • Risk Factors
  • Death
  • Flood
  • Systematic review