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Wilderness Environ Med. 2008 Winter;19(4):233-7. doi: 10.1580/07-WEME-OR-104.1.

Hypothermia and other cold-related morbidity emergency department visits: United States, 1995-2004.

Author information

1
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Environmental Health, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, Health Studies Branch, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA. eha9@cdc.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Although hypothermia is preventable, little has been published on its epidemiology. This study estimates the incidence of hypothermia and other cold-related morbidity emergency department (ED) visits in the United States.

METHODS:

We identified hypothermia and other cold-related morbidity ED visits from the 1995- 2004 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (991.6-991.9) or cause-of-injury E-codes (901.0-901.9 and 988.3).

RESULTS:

In the United States there were an estimated 15 574 (95% CI = 9 103-22 045) hypothermia and other cold-related morbidity ED visits during 1995 to 2004. Compared with other ED patients, those with hypothermia and other cold-related morbidity diagnoses were older (mean age 45 vs 36 years; P = .009) and were more likely to be uninsured (risk ratio [RR] = 2.44; 95% CI = 1.54-3.84). Hypothermia and other cold-related morbidity ED visits required more transfers to critical care units (RR = 6.73; 95% CI = 1.8-25.0) than did other ED visits.

CONCLUSIONS:

Hypothermia and other cold-related morbidity is a preventable resource-intensive condition that tends to affect the disadvantaged.

PMID:
19099327
DOI:
10.1580/07-WEME-OR-104.1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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