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Heat, heat waves, and hospital admissions among the elderly in the United States, 1992-2006.

Authors
Gronlund-CJ; Zanobetti-A; Schwartz-JD; Wellenius-GA; O'Neill-MS
Source
Environ Health Perspect 2014 Nov; 122(11):1187-1192
NIOSHTIC No.
20044471
Abstract
Background: Heat-wave frequency, intensity and duration are increasing with global climate change. The association between heat and mortality in the elderly is well documented, but less is known regarding associations with hospital admissions. Objectives: To determine associations between moderate and extreme heat, heat waves and hospital admissions for non-accidental causes among Medicare beneficiaries aged .65 years in 114 cities across 5 U.S. climate zones. Methods: We used Medicare inpatient billing records and city-specific temperature, humidity and ozone data from 1992-2006 in a time-stratified case-crossover design to estimate the association between hospitalization and moderate (90th percentile of apparent temperature (AT)) and extreme (99th percentile of AT) heat and heat waves (AT above the 95th percentile over 2-8 days). In sensitivity analyses we additionally considered confounding by ozone and holidays, different temperature metrics, and alternate models of the exposure-response relationship. Results: Associations between moderate heat and hospital admissions were minimal, but extreme heat was associated with a 3% (95% CI: 2%, 4%) increase in all-cause hospital admissions over the following 8 days. In cause-specific analyses, extreme heat was associated with increased hospitalizations for renal (15%, 95% CI: 9%, 21%) and respiratory (4%, 95% CI: 2%, 7%) diseases, but not for cardiovascular diseases. An added heat-wave effect was observed for renal and respiratory admissions. Conclusion: Extreme heat is associated with increased hospital admissions, particularly for renal causes, among the elderly in the U.S.
Keywords
Heat; Heat-exposure; Heat-stress; Humans; Men; Women; Age-groups; Analytical-processes; Statistical-analysis; Temperature-effects; Temperature-measurement; Models; Exposure-levels
Contact
Carina J. Gronlund, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, 2669 SPH Tower, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029
CODEN
EVHPAZ
Publication Date
20141101
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
gronlund@umich.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2015
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T42-OH-008455; M062014
Issue of Publication
11
ISSN
0091-6765
Source Name
Environmental Health Perspectives
State
MI; MA
Performing Organization
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
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