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Am J Epidemiol. 1999 Jun 15;149(12):1152-60.

Effects of temperature and snowfall on mortality in Pennsylvania.

Author information

1
Environmental Hazards Epidemiology Section, Health Studies Branch, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724, USA.

Abstract

The relation between exposure to severe cold weather and mortality is examined in a retrospective study of deaths occurring during the month of January from 1991 to 1996 in Pennsylvania. Using division-days as units of observation (n = 1,560) aggregated from death certificates and geographic divisions, the authors estimated mortality rates for total deaths and deaths due to ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases by analyses based on generalized estimating equations. Total mortality increased on days of "extreme" climatic conditions, that is, when snowfall was greater than 3 cm and when temperatures were below -7 degrees C (rate ratio (RR) = 1.27, 95 percent confidence interval (CI) 1.12-1.44). On days of extreme conditions, mortality due to ischemic heart diseases tripled among males aged 35-49 years (RR = 3.54, 95 percent CI 2.35-5.35), increased for men aged 50-64 years (RR = 1.77, 95 percent CI 1.32-2.38), and rose for males aged 65 years and older (RR = 1.58, 95 percent CI 1.37-1.82), when compared with milder conditions. Among females, mortality for those aged 65 years and older increased for respiratory causes (RR = 1.68, 95 percent CI 1.28-2.21) and cerebrovascular causes (RR = 1.47, 95 percent CI 1.13-1.91). Cold and snow exposure may be hazardous among men as young as 35 years.

PMID:
10369510
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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