Feb 1, 2011

Heat waves in the United States: mortality risk during heat waves and effect modification by heat wave characteristics in 43 U.S. communities

by
Anderson GB and Bell ML
,
PubMed - NCBI
  • States that devastating health effects from recent heat waves, and projected increases in frequency, duration, and severity of heat waves from climate change, highlight the importance of understanding health consequences of heat waves
  • Analyses mortality risk for heat waves in 43 U.S. cities (1987-2005) and investigates how effects relate to heat waves' intensity, duration, or timing in season
  • Finds mortality increased 3.74 percent during heat waves compared with non-heat wave days
  • Finds heat wave mortality risk increased 2.49 percent for every 1°F increase in heat wave intensity and 0.38 percent for every 1-day increase in heat wave duration
  • Finds mortality increased 5.04 percent during the first heat wave of the summer versus 2.65 percent during later heat waves, compared with non-heat wave days
  • Finds heat wave mortality impacts and effect modification by heat wave characteristics were more pronounced in the Northeast and Midwest compared with the South
  • Results show higher mortality risk from heat waves that were more intense or longer, or those occurring earlier in summer