Mortality during a Large-Scale Heat Wave by Place, Demographic Group, Internal and External Causes of Death, and Building Climate Zone
Published Date:Mar 09 2016
Source:Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016; 13(3).
Aged, 80 And Over
Building Climate Zone
Cause Of Death
Data Interpretation, Statistical
External Cause Of Death
Heat Stress Disorders
Internal Cause Of Death
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4808962
Funding:U38 HM000414/HM/NCHM CDC HHS/United States
5U38HM000414/HM/NCHM CDC HHS/United States
Description:Mortality increases during periods of elevated heat. Identification of vulnerable subgroups by demographics, causes of death, and geographic regions, including deaths occurring at home, is needed to inform public health prevention efforts. We calculated mortality relative risks (RRs) and excess deaths associated with a large-scale California heat wave in 2006, comparing deaths during the heat wave with reference days. For total (all-place) and at-home mortality, we examined risks by demographic factors, internal and external causes of death, and building climate zones. During the heat wave, 582 excess deaths occurred, a 5% increase over expected (RR = 1.05, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03-1.08). Sixty-six percent of excess deaths were at home (RR = 1.12, CI 1.07-1.16). Total mortality risk was higher among those aged 35-44 years than ≥ 65, and among Hispanics than whites. Deaths from external causes increased more sharply (RR = 1.18, CI 1.10-1.27) than from internal causes (RR = 1.04, CI 1.02-1.07). Geographically, risk varied by building climate zone; the highest risks of at-home death occurred in the northernmost coastal zone (RR = 1.58, CI 1.01-2.48) and the southernmost zone of California's Central Valley (RR = 1.43, CI 1.21-1.68). Heat wave mortality risk varied across subpopulations, and some patterns of vulnerability differed from those previously identified. Public health efforts should also address at-home mortality, non-elderly adults, external causes, and at-risk geographic regions.
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