Assessment of heat-related health impacts in Brisbane, Australia : comparison of different heatwave definitions

Tong, Shilu, Wang, Xiao Yu, & Barnett, Adrian Gerard (2010) Assessment of heat-related health impacts in Brisbane, Australia : comparison of different heatwave definitions. PLoS ONE, 5(8), e12155-e12155.

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Background: There is no global definition of a heatwave because local acclimatisation and adaptation influence the impact of extreme heat. Even at a local level there can be multiple heatwave definitions, based on varying temperature levels or time periods. We investigated the relationship between heatwaves and health outcomes using ten different heatwave definitions in Brisbane, Australia. ---------- Methodology/Principal Findings: We used daily data on climate, air pollution, and emergency hospital admissions in Brisbane between January 1996 and December 2005; and mortality between January 1996 and November 2004. Case-crossover analyses were used to assess the relationship between each of the ten heatwave definitions and health outcomes. During heatwaves there was a statistically significant increase in emergency hospital admissions for all ten definitions, with odds ratios ranging from 1.03 to 1.18. A statistically significant increase in the odds ratios of mortality was also found for eight definitions. The size of the heat-related impact varied between definitions.---------- Conclusions/Significance Even a small change in the heatwave definition had an appreciable effect on the estimated health impact. It is important to identify an appropriate definition of heatwave locally and to understand its health effects in order to develop appropriate public health intervention strategies to prevent and mitigate the impact of heatwaves.

Impact and interest:

49 citations in Scopus
48 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 38733
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012155
ISSN: 1932-6203
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 The Authors
Copyright Statement: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Deposited On: 23 Nov 2010 00:40
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2017 14:41

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