Development of health risk-based metrics for defining a heatwave: a time series study in Brisbane, Australia

Tong, Shilu, Wang, Xiao Yu, Fitzgerald, Gerry, McRae, David, Neville, Gerard, Tippett, Vivienne, Aitken, Peter, and Verrall, Ken (2014) Development of health risk-based metrics for defining a heatwave: a time series study in Brisbane, Australia. BMC Public Health, 14. 435. pp. 1-10.

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Abstract

Background

This study attempted to develop health risk-based metrics for defining a heatwave in Brisbane, Australia.

Methods

Poisson generalised additive model was performed to assess the impact of heatwaves on mortality and emergency hospital admissions (EHAs) in Brisbane.

Results

In general, the higher the intensity and the longer the duration of a heatwave, the greater the health impacts. There was no apparent difference in EHAs risk during different periods of a warm season. However, there was a greater risk for mortality in the 2nd half of a warm season than that in the 1st half. While elderly (≥75 years) were particularly vulnerable to both the EHA and mortality effects of a heatwave, the risk for EHAs also significantly increased for two other age groups (0 – 64 years and 65 – 74 years) during severe heatwaves. Different patterns between cardiorespiratory mortality and EHAs were observed. Based on these findings, we propose the use of a tiered heat warning system based on the health risk of heatwave.

Conclusions

Health risk-based metrics are a useful tool for the development of local heatwave definitions. This tool may have significant implications for the assessment of heatwave-related health consequences and development of heatwave response plans and implementation strategies.

Item ID: 33882
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2458
Keywords: climate changes, emergency hospital admissions, heatwaves, mean temperature, mortality, time series analysis
Additional Information:

© 2014 Tong et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM), Department of Community Safety, Queensland Health, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Queensland Emergency Medicine Research Foundation (QEMRF)
Projects and Grants: ARC LP882699, NHMRC Fellowship #553043
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2014 08:59
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111711 Health Information Systems (incl Surveillance) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920407 Health Protection and/or Disaster Response @ 100%
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