Jan 1, 2009

The 2006 California Heat Wave: Impacts on Hospitalizations and Emergency Department Visits

Kim Knowlton, Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, Galatea King, Helene G. Margolis, Daniel Smith, Gina Solomon, Roger Trent, and Paul English
Environmental Health Perspectives
  • Investigates whether any age or race/ethnicity groups experienced increased hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits overall or for selected illnesses during the 2006 California heat wave
  • Finds that during the heat wave, 16,166 excess ED visits and 1,182 excess hospitalizations occurred statewide
  • Finds that ED visits for heat-related causes increased across the state [RR = 6.30; 95% confidence interval (CI), 5.67–7.01], especially in the Central Coast region, which includes San Francisco
  • Finds that Children (0–4 years of age) and the elderly (≥ 65 years of age) were at greatest risk
  • ED visits also showed significant increases for acute renal failure, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, electrolyte imbalance, and nephritis
  • Concludes that the 2006 California heat wave had a substantial effect on morbidity, including regions with relatively modest temperatures