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Exposure to hot and cold temperatures and ambulance attendances in Brisbane, Australia: A time series study

Turner, Lyle, Connell, Des, & Tong, Shilu (2012) Exposure to hot and cold temperatures and ambulance attendances in Brisbane, Australia: A time series study. BMJ Open, 2(4).

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Abstract

ABSTRACT Objectives: To investigate the effect of hot and cold temperatures on ambulance attendances.
Design: An ecological time series study. Setting and participants: The study was conducted in Brisbane, Australia. We collected information on 783 935 daily ambulance attendances, along with data of associated meteorological variables and air pollutants, for the period of 2000–2007. Outcome measures: The total number of ambulance attendances was examined, along with those related to cardiovascular, respiratory and other non-traumatic conditions. Generalised additive models were used to assess the relationship between daily mean temperature and the number of ambulance attendances. Results: There were statistically significant relationships between mean temperature and ambulance attendances for all categories. Acute heat effects were found with a 1.17% (95% CI: 0.86%, 1.48%) increase in total attendances for 1 °C increase above threshold (0–1 days lag). Cold effects were delayed and longer lasting with a 1.30% (0.87%, 1.73%) increase in total attendances for a 1 °C decrease below the threshold (2–15 days lag). Harvesting was observed following initial acute periods of heat effects, but not for cold effects. Conclusions: This study shows that both hot and cold temperatures led to increases in ambulance attendances for different medical conditions. Our findings support the notion that ambulance attendance records are a valid and timely source of data for use in the development of local weather/health early warning systems.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 50882
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Ambulance attendances, Distributed lag non-linear model, Morbidity, Queensland Ambulance Service, Temperature
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001074
ISSN: 2044-6055
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Funding:
  • ARC DISCOVERY/DP1095752
Deposited On: 10 Jul 2012 11:23
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2014 20:58

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