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PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e37500. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037500. Epub 2012 May 24.

Assessing the short-term effects of heatwaves on mortality and morbidity in Brisbane, Australia: comparison of case-crossover and time series analyses.

Author information

  • 1School of Public Health and Social Work, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. s.tong@qut.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Heat-related impacts may have greater public health implications as climate change continues. It is important to appropriately characterize the relationship between heatwave and health outcomes. However, it is unclear whether a case-crossover design can be effectively used to assess the event- or episode-related health effects. This study examined the association between exposure to heatwaves and mortality and emergency hospital admissions (EHAs) from non-external causes in Brisbane, Australia, using both case-crossover and time series analyses approaches.

METHODS:

Poisson generalised additive model (GAM) and time-stratified case-crossover analyses were used to assess the short-term impact of heatwaves on mortality and EHAs. Heatwaves exhibited a significant impact on mortality and EHAs after adjusting for air pollution, day of the week, and season.

RESULTS:

For time-stratified case-crossover analysis, odds ratios of mortality and EHAs during heatwaves were 1.62 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.36-1.94) and 1.22 (95% CI: 1.14-1.30) at lag 1, respectively. Time series GAM models gave similar results. Relative risks of mortality and EHAs ranged from 1.72 (95% CI: 1.40-2.11) to 1.81 (95% CI: 1.56-2.10) and from 1.14 (95% CI: 1.06-1.23) to 1.28 (95% CI: 1.21-1.36) at lag 1, respectively. The risk estimates gradually attenuated after the lag of one day for both case-crossover and time series analyses.

CONCLUSIONS:

The risk estimates from both case-crossover and time series models were consistent and comparable. This finding may have implications for future research on the assessment of event- or episode-related (e.g., heatwave) health effects.

PMID:
22655052
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3360052
Free PMC Article
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