Associations between extreme precipitation and childhood hand, foot and mouth disease in urban and rural areas in Hefei, China

Cheng, Jian, Wu, Jinju, Xu, Zhiwei, Zhu, Rui, Wang, Xu, Li, Kesheng, Wen, Liying, Yang, Huihui, & Su, Hong (2014) Associations between extreme precipitation and childhood hand, foot and mouth disease in urban and rural areas in Hefei, China. Science of the Total Environment, 497-498, pp. 484-490.

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Understanding the relationship between extreme weather events and childhood hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is important in the context of climate change. This study aimed to quantify the relationship between extreme precipitation and childhood HFMD in Hefei, China, and further, to explore whether the association varied across urban and rural areas.


Daily data on HFMD counts among children aged 0–14 years from 2010 January 1st to 2012 December 31st were retrieved from Hefei Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Daily data on mean temperature, relative humidity and precipitation during the same period were supplied by Hefei Bureau of Meteorology. We used a Poisson linear regression model combined with a distributed lag non-linear model to assess the association between extreme precipitation (≥ 90th precipitation) and childhood HFMD, controlling for mean temperature, humidity, day of week, and long-term trend.


There was a statistically significant association between extreme precipitation and childhood HFMD. The effect of extreme precipitation on childhood HFMD was the greatest at six days lag, with a 5.12% (95% confident interval: 2.7–7.57%) increase of childhood HFMD for an extreme precipitation event versus no precipitation. Notably, urban children and children aged 0–4 years were particularly vulnerable to the effects of extreme precipitation.


Our findings indicate that extreme precipitation may increase the incidence of childhood HFMD in Hefei, highlighting the importance of protecting children from forthcoming extreme precipitation, particularly for those who are young and from urban areas.

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8 citations in Scopus
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7 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 88641
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Extreme precipitation; Child; Hand; foot and mouth disease; Urban area; Rural area
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.08.006
ISSN: 0048-9697
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Deposited On: 04 Nov 2015 00:22
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2015 00:22

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