Days of extreme heat associated with increased risk of emergency department visits

days of extreme heat associated with increased risk of emergency department visits

Sumary of Days of extreme heat associated with increased risk of emergency department visits:

  • Extremely hot days with an average temperature of 34.4°C (93.9°F) are associated with a higher risk of emergency department visits among adults of all ages, finds a large study from the United States published by The BMJ today.
  • The results show that the adverse health effects of extreme heat are not limited to older adults and that some individuals and communities seem to be at greater risk than others.
  • This information “might be useful to clinicians, public health officials, and the public considering the potential for more frequent and severe extreme heat events attributable to the rapidly changing climate,” say the researchers.
  • It is well known that extreme heat is associated with an increased risk of deaths and hospital admissions among adults aged 65 years and over, but less is known about the adverse health impacts of heat among young and middle aged adults.
  • Overall, 21,996,670 emergency department visits were recorded during the study period.
  • Days of extreme heat were defined as those in the highest (95th centile) of the local temperature distribution during the warm season.
  • The results show that days of extreme heat were associated with a 7.8% higher risk of emergency department visits for any cause compared to days in the lowest (1st centile) of the local temperature distribution during the warm season, with no clear threshold.

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