Socio-demographic vulnerability to heatwave impacts in Brisbane, Australia: a time series analysis

Toloo, Ghasem (Sam), Guo, Yuming, Turner, Lyle, Qi, Xin, Aitken, Peter, and Tong, Shilu (2014) Socio-demographic vulnerability to heatwave impacts in Brisbane, Australia: a time series analysis. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 38 (5). pp. 430-435.

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Objective: Examining the association between socioeconomic disadvantage and heat-related emergency department (ED) visits during heatwave periods in Brisbane, 2000–2008.

Methods: Data from 10 public EDs were analysed using a generalised additive model for disease categories, age groups and gender.

Results: Cumulative relative risks (RR) for non-external causes other than cardiovascular and respiratory diseases were 1.11 and 1.05 in most and least disadvantaged areas, respectively. The pattern persisted on lags 0–2. Elevated risks were observed for all age groups above 15 years in all areas. However, with RRs of 1.19–1.28, the 65–74 years age group in more disadvantaged areas stood out, compared with RR=1.08 in less disadvantaged areas. This pattern was observed on lag 0 but did not persist. The RRs for male presentations were 1.10 and 1.04 in most and less disadvantaged areas; for females, RR was 1.04 in less disadvantaged areas. This pattern persisted across lags 0–2.

Conclusions: Heat-related ED visits increased during heatwaves. However, due to overlapping confidence intervals, variations across socioeconomic areas should be interpreted cautiously.

Implications: ED data may be utilised for monitoring heat-related health impacts, particularly on the first day of heatwaves, to facilitate prompt interventions and targeted resource allocation.

Item ID: 36148
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1753-6405
Keywords: socioeconomic disadvantage, vulnerability, heatwaves, emergency departments, temporal analysis
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management, Queensland Health, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Queensland Emergency Medicine Research Foundation (QEMRF)
Projects and Grants: ARC Linkage grant LP882699, NHMRC Research Fellowship #553043, QEMRF Noel Stevenson Fellowship
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 11:05
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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