Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/113634
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Type: Journal article
Title: Evaluation of a heat warning system in Adelaide, South Australia, using case-series analysis
Author: Nitschke, M.
Tucker, G.
Hansen, A.
Williams, S.
Zhang, Y.
Bi, P.
Citation: BMJ Open, 2016; 6(7):e012125-1-e012125-9
Publisher: BMJ Publishing
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 2044-6055
2044-6055
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Monika Nitschke, Graeme Tucker, Alana Hansen, Susan Williams, Ying Zhang, Peng Bi
Abstract: Background: Heatwave warning systems aim to assist in reducing health effects during extreme heat. Evaluations of such systems have been limited. This study explored the effect of a heatwave warning programme on morbidity and mortality in Adelaide, South Australia, by comparing extreme events in 2009 and 2014, the latter with exposure to the preventive programme. Methods: The health outcomes during the two heatwaves were compared using the incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of daily ambulance call-outs, emergency presentations and mortality data during the heatwaves compared with non-heatwave periods during the warm seasons. Excess or reduced numbers of cases were calculated and the differences in cases between the two heatwaves were estimated. Results: IRRs for total ambulance call-outs and emergency presentations were lower during the 2014 heatwaves compared with the 2009 event. The estimated differences in health-specific outcomes between 2009 and 2014 were statistically significant with 207 (59%) for cardiac-related call-outs, 134 (30%) for renal and 145 (56%) for heat-related emergency presentations. Mortality was not reduced in 2014. There were an estimated 34.5 excess deaths in 2009 and 38.2 in 2014. Conclusions: Morbidity outcomes were reduced significantly during the 2014 event. The fact that cardiac, renal and heat-related diagnoses were significantly reduced is likely to be associated with the intervention in 2014, which comprised a public warning through media and intense preventive measures directed to individual populations at risk. Further analysis of risk factors of mortality during heatwaves should be explored.
Keywords: Heatwave; health intervention
Rights: Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/ This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
RMID: 0030051401
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012125
Appears in Collections:Public Health publications

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