Aug 10, 2013

Heat-related mortality risk model for climate change impact projection

Yasushi Honda, Masahide Kondo, Glenn McGregor, Ho Kim, Yue-Leon Guo, Yasuaki Hijioka, Minoru Yoshikawa, Kazutaka Oka, Saneyuki Takano, Simon Hales, R. Sari Kovats
Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine
  • Improves the fit and precision of a model developed previously for projection of heat-related mortality attributable to climate change
  • Calculates heat-related excess mortality for 2030 and 2050
  • Defines heat-related excess mortality as: The temperature–mortality relation forms a V-shaped curve, and the temperature at which mortality becomes lowest is called the optimum temperature (OT)
  • Defines excess mortality as the difference in mortality between the OT and a temperature beyond the OT is the excess mortality
  • States the proportion of deaths due to heat-related mortality attributable to climate change appears small compared with the total number of deaths; however, considering that even huge cyclones do not kill many people nowadays in high-income countries, heat waves are a major environmental hazard
  • States need to compare the heat-related impact and cold-related impact to obtain the net impact of global warming, but notes it's naive to apply the V-shaped temperature–mortality relation to projections for future cold-related excess deaths and aims to develop the model discussed in the paper for cold-related excess mortality after taking into account points raised in papers discussing V-shaped temperature–mortality relation