175024 Intra-urban variation of mortality as a function of high ambient temperatures

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 4:45 PM

Audrey Smargiassi , Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec, Montréal, QC, Canada
Mark S. Goldberg , Department of Medicine, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, QC, Canada
Céline Plante , Direction de Santé Publique de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
Michel Fournier , Direction de Santé Publique de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
Yves Baudouin , Géographie, UQAM, Montréal, QC, Canada
Tom Kosatsky , Direction de Santé Publique de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
BACKGROUND. Little attention has been paid to how heat-related health effects vary with the micro-urban variation of outdoor temperatures. Here we explore whether persons living in warmer urban places – in micro-urban heat islands, are at a higher risk of mortality during hot summer days. METHODS. Data used include 1) daily mortality for Montreal (Canada) for the summers 1990-2003, 2) daily mean ambient outdoor temperatures at the local International Airport and, 3) a single thermal surface image (Landsat-7/ETM+, infra-red wave lengths). A city-wide temperature vs daily mortality function was established on the basis of a case-crossover design; this function was stratified according to the surface temperature at decedents' place of residence. RESULTS. The risk of death during the warm season in areas with higher surface temperatures was greater than in areas with lower surface temperatures. Furthermore, in areas with higher surface temperatures, the risk of death was also greater for those who lived in low-value dwellings. CONCLUSIONS. Our study suggests that cooling centers and other social measures designed to protect public health from extreme heat should be located in priority in micro-heat islands, particularly those in areas of poverty.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize that the risk of death during the warm season is higher for residents living in micro-urban heat islands 2. Recognize the importance of research information in establishing interventions to protect public health from heat

Keywords: Environmental Health, Climate

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conceived the study and supervised all aspects of its implementation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Weather, Heat and Health
See more of: Environment