Is increasing coal seam gas well development activity associated with increasing hospitalisation rates in Queensland, Australia? an exploratory analysis 1995–2011

Werner, Angela K., Cameron, Cate M., Watt, Kerrianne, Vink, Sue, Jagals, Paul, and Page, Andrew (2017) Is increasing coal seam gas well development activity associated with increasing hospitalisation rates in Queensland, Australia? an exploratory analysis 1995–2011. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14 (5). pp. 1-13.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (575kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14050540
 
1
13


Abstract

The majority of Australia’s coal seam gas (CSG) reserves are in Queensland, where the industry has expanded rapidly in recent years. Despite concerns, health data have not been examined alongside CSG development. This study examined hospitalisation rates as a function of CSG development activity in Queensland, during the period 1995–2011. Admissions data were examined with CSG well numbers, which served as a proxy for CSG development activity. Time series models were used to assess changes in hospitalisation rates for periods of “low”, “medium”, “high”, and “intense” activity compared to a period of “very low” activity, adjusting for covariates. “All-cause” hospitalisation rates increased monotonically with increasing gas well development activity in females (324.0 to 390.3 per 1000 persons) and males (294.2 to 335.4 per 1000 persons). Hospitalisation rates for “Blood/immune” conditions generally increased for both sexes. Female and male hospitalisation rates for “Circulatory” conditions decreased with increasing CSG activity. Hospitalisation rates were generally low for reproductive and birth outcomes; no clear associations were observed. This study showed some outcomes were associated with increasing CSG development activity. However, as a condition of data access, the population and outcomes were aggregated to a broad geographic study area rather than using higher geographic resolution data. Higher resolution data, as well as other data sources, should be explored. Further research should be conducted with an expanded time period to determine if these trends continue as the industry grows.

Item ID: 49630
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1660-4601
Keywords: coal seam gas; environmental health; hospital admissions; Queensland; time-series; unconventional natural gas
Additional Information:

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), University of Queensland (UQ), Sustainable Minerals Institute
Projects and Grants: NHMRC Public Health Fellowship ID 428254, UQ Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre, UQ Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2017 05:50
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920405 Environmental Health @ 60%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being) @ 40%
Downloads: Total: 13
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page