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Sci Total Environ. 2010 Dec 1;409(1):43-51. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.09.001. Epub 2010 Oct 13.

Modeling the impact of climate variability on diarrhea-associated diseases in Taiwan (1996-2007).

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Department of Biomedical Engineering and Environmental Sciences, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.


Diarrhea is an important public health problem in Taiwan. Climatic changes and an increase in extreme weather events (extreme heat, drought or rainfalls) have been strongly linked to the incidence of diarrhea-associated disease. This study investigated and quantified the relationship between climate variations and diarrhea-associated morbidity in subtropical Taiwan. Specifically, this study analyzed the local climatic variables and the number of diarrhea-associated infection cases from 1996 to 2007. This study applied a climate variation-guided Poisson regression model to predict the dynamics of diarrhea-associated morbidity. The proposed model allows for climate factors (relative humidity, maximum temperature and the numbers of extreme rainfall), autoregression, long-term trends and seasonality, and a lag-time effect. Results indicated that the maximum temperature and extreme rainfall days were strongly related to diarrhea-associated morbidity. The impact of maximum temperature on diarrhea-associated morbidity appeared primarily among children (0-14years) and older adults (40-64years), and had less of an effect on adults (15-39years). Otherwise, relative humidity and extreme rainfall days significantly contributed to the diarrhea-associated morbidity in adult. This suggested that children and older adults were the most susceptible to diarrhea-associated morbidity caused by climatic variation. Because climatic variation contributed to diarrhea morbidity in Taiwan, it is necessary to develop an early warning system based on the climatic variation information for disease control management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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