Simulating a latent susceptible pool to examine the impact on cardiovascular mortality

Barnett, Adrian G., Rocklöv, Joacim, Fraser, John F., & Hajat, Shakoor (2012) Simulating a latent susceptible pool to examine the impact on cardiovascular mortality. [Working Paper] (Unpublished)


The health effects of cold and hot temperatures are strongest in the frail and elderly. A large number of deaths in this "susceptible pool" after heat waves and cold snaps can cause mortality displacement, where an immediate increase in mortality is somewhat offset by a subsequent decrease in the following weeks. There may also be longer-term implications, as reductions in the pool caused by hot summers can reduce cold-related mortality in the following winter. A state-space model was used to simulate the numbers in the susceptible pool over time. We simulated the effects of harsh winters and heat waves, and varied the size of the susceptible pool. The larger the susceptible pool the smaller the mortality displacement. When 1% of the population were susceptible a harsh winter lead to an average of just 3 months of life lost per cold-related death, whereas a pool size of 10% meant that 24 months of life were lost per death. The impact of a cold spell on months of life lost was greater when the increased risk of death also applied to healthy people. The number of deaths caused by an August heat wave were reduced when there was a prior heat wave in June which reduced the susceptible pool. We were able to mimic some observed seasonal patterns in mortality using a simple state-space model. A better understanding of the size and dynamics of the susceptible pool will improve our understanding of the health effects of temperature.

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ID Code: 51322
Item Type: Working Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: susceptible pool, cardiovascular disease, mortality displacement, state-space model, heat waves, temperature
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
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: Copyright 2012 The Authors
Deposited On: 02 Jul 2012 22:27
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2012 00:36

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