Gregory A. Wellenius, Melissa N. Eliot, Kathleen F. Bush, Dennis Holt, Rebecca A. Lincoln, Andrew E. Smith, Julia Gold

Environmental Research

Published date May 9, 2017

Heat-related morbidity and mortality in New England: Evidence for local policy

  • Evaluates the association between maximum daily heat index (HI) and morbidity and mortality in 15 New England communities (combined population: 2.7 million) in order to provide actionable evidence for local officials
  • Applies overdispersed Poisson nonlinear distributed lag models to evaluate the association between HI and daily (May-September) emergency department (ED) admissions and deaths in each of 15 study sites in New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island
  • Meta-analyzes site-specific estimates to provide regional estimates
  • Observes associations (sometimes non-linear) between HI and each health outcome
  • Estimates that in the study area, days with a HI≥95°F were associated with an annual average of 784 (95% CI: 658, 908) excess ED visits and 22 (95% CI: 3, 39) excess deaths
  • Results suggest the presence of adverse health impacts associated with HI below the current local guideline criteria of HI≥100°F used to issue heat advisories