Floods and human health : a systematic review
Floods are the most common type of disaster globally, responsible for almost 53,000 deaths in the last decade alone (23:1 low- versus high-income countries). This review assessed recent epidemiological evidence on the impacts of floods on human health. Published articles (2004–2011) on the quantitative relationship between floods and health were systematically reviewed. 35 relevant epidemiological studies were identified. Health outcomes were categorized into short- and long-term and were found to depend on the flood characteristics and people's vulnerability. It was found that long-term health effects are currently not well understood. Mortality rates were found to increase by up to 50% in the first year post-flood. After floods, it was found there is an increased risk of disease outbreaks such as hepatitis E, gastrointestinal disease and leptospirosis, particularly in areas with poor hygiene and displaced populations. Psychological distress in survivors (prevalence 8.6% to 53% two years post-flood) can also exacerbate their physical illness. There is a need for effective policies to reduce and prevent flood-related morbidity and mortality. Such steps are contingent upon the improved understanding of potential health impacts of floods. Global trends in urbanization, burden of disease, malnutrition and maternal and child health must be better reflected in flood preparedness and mitigation programs.
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|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||Flood, Health, Disease, Wounds and injuries, Death|
|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
|Copyright Owner:||Crown Copyright © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.|
|Copyright Statement:||This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in <Environment International>. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Environment International, [VOL 47, (2012)] DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2012.06.003|
|Deposited On:||03 Jul 2012 08:20|
|Last Modified:||15 Oct 2013 08:53|
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