4351.0 Weather, Heat and Health

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 4:30 PM
A new assessment report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program concluded that more droughts and excessive heat, as well as intense rainstorms, are occurring as a result of global climate change caused by human activity. Extreme heat events can increase illness and deaths in vulnerable populations, including older people, the very young, the homeless, and people with cognitive and physical impairments. In its 2006 Excessive Heat Events Guidebook, the EPA described studies that estimated a summertime mortality attributable to extreme heat events of well above 1,000 deaths per year for several vulnerable U.S. metropolitan areas. Large cities exhibit an urban heat island effect, with temperatures in the inner city consistently higher than the surrounding areas. Several of the studies in this session will describe measurable variables that might be used to identify populations with particular susceptibility to heat-related health effects. Session participants also will hear about two intervention programs designed to prevent the adverse consequences of heat waves in urban areas. First, an education program was developed to assist local broadcast meteorologists and public health organizations to communicate effectively about prevention/preparedness tips and public health risks related to weather. Second, the City of Montreal developed an evidence-based early heat health warning system that mobilized health care, municipal and community resources and the media. These presentations will provide a greater understanding of the factors that increase vulnerability to extreme heat events and the effectiveness of programs designed to prevent heat-related deaths.
Session Objectives: 1. Define the phrase, urban heat island. 2. List city or population attributes that increase the risk of heat-related illness and death. 3. Recognize the importance of developing public health interventions to reduce mortality and morbidity associated with heat waves in an urban environment. 4. Discuss the interventions that are most likely to prevent heat-related mortality in cities.
Barbara Glenn, MPH, PhD
Barbara Glenn, MPH, PhD

4:30 PM
Weather and Public Health
Leyla Erk McCurdy, MPhil, Paul R. Epstein, MD, MPH, Sara Espinoza, MEM and Brian McNally, MD, MPH
4:45 PM
Intra-urban variation of mortality as a function of high ambient temperatures
Audrey Smargiassi, Mark S. Goldberg, CÚline Plante, Michel Fournier, Yves Baudouin and Tom Kosatsky
5:15 PM
Implications of elevated temperatures in health surveillance
Patrick Phelan, PhD, Jay Golden, PhD, Humberto Silva, Donna Hartz, Chona Sister, PhD, J. Rafael Pacheco, PhD, Bernadette Phelan, PhD and George Luber, PhD

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Environment
Endorsed by: Public Health Nursing, Socialist Caucus, School Health Education and Services

See more of: Environment