The Effect of Heat Stress on Daily Mortality in Tel Aviv, Israel
Weather-related morbidity and mortality have attracted renewed interest because of climate changes. During a multi-center project conducted within Europe, the apparent threshold temperature where the heat effect changes was found to be different for Mediterranean and north continental cities. In this paper, we study the V/J relationship between heat stress (Discomfort Index-DI) and mortality in Tel Aviv, a city within Asia, using daily data of mortality counts and meteorological variables for the period 1/1/2000–31/12/2004; using a Poisson regression and accounting for confounders. The relationship between the discomfort index DI (lag 0–3) and log mortality rates was J shaped for Tel Aviv. The DI threshold was found to be 29.3 (90% CrI = 28.0–30.7). Above this threshold, a 1 unit increase in DI was found to be associated with increased mortality of 3.72% (90% CrI = −0.23 to 8.72). NO2 was also found to have a significant effect on mortality. As global warming continues, even though there exists a high awareness amongst the Israeli population of the negative health impacts of heat, there is still a vital need to develop local policies to mitigate heat-related deaths.
KeywordsHeat stress Mortality Global warming Mediterranean cities
Many thanks to Alina Rosenberg who contributed to data preparation and to the Environment and Health Fund for financial support.
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