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Type: Journal article
Title: Extreme heat arrangements in South Australia: an assessment of trigger temperatures
Author: Williams, S.
Nitschke, M.
Tucker, G.
Bi, P.
Citation: Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 2011; 22(Sp Iss):S21-S27
Publisher: Australian Health Promotion Association
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 1036-1073
Statement of
Susan Williams, Monika Nitschke, Graeme Tucker and Peng Bi
Abstract: ISSUE ADDRESSED:The high mortality and morbidity associated with the 2009 heat wave across South Eastern Australia highlighted the need for effective heat-related health promotion and preventive strategies. The adverse health effects of extreme heat are largely preventable, and heat-related health promotion can advise the public about the dangers of hot weather and how to reduce health risks. The South Australian State Emergency Service has outlined a co-ordinated response system in their Extreme Heat Arrangements for South Australia. This paper evaluates the health impacts at the temperature trigger levels incorporated in this plan. METHODS:Heat events in Adelaide between 1994 and 2009 were compared in terms of heat duration, heat intensity and their impact on mortality and ambulance call-outs.The health impacts for events meeting specific temperature triggers were estimated. RESULTS:Individual heat events varied in terms of estimated excess mortality and ambulance call-outs. Increased mortality was associated with heat events of 3 or more consecutive days with maximum temperature (T(max)) > or = 43 degrees C or average daily temperature (ADT) > or = 34 degrees C, while ambulance call-outs increased significantly at lower T(max) levels.The two events reaching the temperature triggers for an extreme heat warning were associated with a 44% (95% CI 26-63%) increase in mortality. CONCLUSIONS:The results support the temperature trigger for an extreme heat warning within the Extreme Heat Arrangements for Adelaide, and indicate a limited health impact at lower temperature triggers.
Keywords: extreme heat; heat-related health promotion; heat action plans.
Rights: © Australian Health Promotion Association
RMID: 0020115993
DOI: 10.1071/he11421
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Appears in Collections:Public Health publications
Environment Institute publications

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