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Am J Public Health. 2017 Aug;107(8):1304-1307. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.303826. Epub 2017 Jun 22.

Hurricane Sandy (New Jersey): Mortality Rates in the Following Month and Quarter.

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Soyeon Kim and Amy Davidow are with the Department of Biostatistics, Rutgers School of Public Health, Newark, NJ. At the time of study, Prathit A. Kulkarni was with the Epidemic Intelligence Service, Division of Scientific Education and Professional Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA. Mangala Rajan is with Rutgers School of Public Health. Pauline Thomas is with Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark. Stella Tsai and Christina Tan are with the Division of Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health, New Jersey Department of Health.



To describe changes in mortality after Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey on October 29, 2012.


We used electronic death records to describe changes in all-cause and cause-specific mortality overall, in persons aged 76 years or older, and by 3 Sandy impact levels for the month and quarter following Hurricane Sandy compared with the same periods in earlier years adjusted for trends.


All-cause mortality increased 6% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 2%, 11%) for the month, 5%, 8%, and 12% by increasing Sandy impact level; and 7% (95% CI = 5%, 10%) for the quarter, 5%, 8%, and 15% by increasing Sandy impact level. In elderly persons, all-cause mortality rates increased 10% (95% CI = 5%, 15%) and 13% (95% CI = 10%, 16%) in the month and quarter, respectively. Deaths that were cardiovascular disease-related increased by 6% in both periods, noninfectious respiratory disease-related by 24% in the quarter, infection-related by 20% in the quarter, and unintentional injury-related by 23% in the month.


Mortality increased, heterogeneous by cause, for both periods after Hurricane Sandy, particularly in communities more severely affected and in the elderly, who may benefit from supportive services.

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