Online Program

Lack of perceived neighborhood safety predicts the reporting of heat related illness symptoms among older adults

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:42 a.m.

Vishnu Nepal, MSc, MPH, Office of Health Planning, Evaluation and Research for Effectiveness, Houston Health Department, Houston, TX
Deborah Banerjee, PhD, MS, Community Health Planning, Evaluation and Research, Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Houston, TX
Background: With the changing climate conditions, there has been increase in the heat related illnesses in the recent decade in the US. Older adults are vulnerable to heat in general. Developing evidence based strategies to ensure preparedness of older adults for extreme heat related weathers is a public health priority. The objective of the study was to examine whether perceived neighborhood safety can predict the reporting of symptoms related to heat illness among older adults (Age 60 and over). Method: Portion (N=286) of the heat survey data (N=901) collected in Houston, Texas in November, 2011, via a random telephone survey was examined. Uni-variate and multivariate analyses were performed. Results: Uni-variate analysis suggested that perception of neighborhood safety could predict the report of symptoms related to heat illness. Logistic regression showed that those who did not feel that the neighborhood was safe were significantly more likely to report the symptoms (OR: 8.1, p<0.001). The relation was still significant when accounted for race and educational level. Conclusion: Lack of perceived neighborhood safety can significantly predict the reporting of symptoms related to heat illness. Potential mechanism could be through sub-optimal availability and access to services, resources and social network. Addressing perceived neighborhood safety could potentially be helpful in addressing heat related illness outcomes among older adults.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe relationship of perceived neighborhood safety with report of symptoms related to heat illness Describe the strategic implication of such evidence to advance public health agenda pertaining to aging

Keyword(s): Aging, Public Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I coordinated the data collection and analyzed the data. I have been working in the field of public health for more than nine years and my training ad experience is in the field of qualitative research. My primary focus includes community assessment using evidence based tools and techniques and providing technical backstopping for multiple projects in the areas of program development and evaluation.
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.