"Temporal and spatial variation of heat-related illness using 911 medical dispatch data." Environmental research [0013-9351] 109.5 (2009). 600-.
Abstract: Background: The adverse effect of hot weather on health in urban communities is of increasing public health concern, particularly given trends in climate change. Objectives: To demonstrate the potential public health applications of monitoring 911 medical dispatch data for heat-related illness (HRI), using historical data for the summer periods (June 1–August 31) during 2002–2005 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Methods: The temporal distribution of the medical dispatch calls was described in relation to a current early warning system and emergency department data from the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS). Geospatial methods were used to map the percentage of heat-related calls in each Toronto neighborhood over the study period. Results: The temporal pattern of 911 calls for HRI was similar, and sometimes peaked earlier, than current heat health warning systems (HHWS). The pattern of calls was similar to NACRS HRI visits, with the exception of 2005 where 911 calls peaked earlier. Areas of the city with a relatively higher burden of HRI included low income inner-city neighborhoods, areas with high rates of street-involved individuals, and areas along the waterfront which include summer outdoor recreational activities. Conclusions: Identifying the temporal trends and geospatial patterns of these important environmental health events has the potential to direct targeted public health interventions to mitigate associated morbidity and mortality. [Copyright 2009 Elsevier]
"The socio-spatial dynamics of extreme urban heat events: The case of heat-related deaths in Philadelphia." Applied geography [0143-6228] 29.3 (2009). 419-.
Abstract: Heat is the number one weather-related cause of mortality in the United States; typically punctuated by extreme heat waves. This study examines the relationship between the spatial distribution of vulnerable populations, satellite-detected urban heat island (UHI) and heat-related mortality distributions during a 1993 extreme heat event in Philadelphia, PA. Geostatistical methods are used to compare spatial distributions of vulnerability and to determine concentration of mortality within surface UHI intensity levels. The results suggest the spatial distribution of urban poor is congruent with heat-related death. Additionally, deaths are concentrated in higher order surface UHI intensity levels. The findings suggest that surface UHI measures and population in poverty are important variables in spatially measuring risk from extreme heat events. Coupling surface UHI measures with socioeconomic indicators of vulnerability may enable creation of risk models with improved spatial specificity to assist public health professionals. This approach is demonstrated by developing a linear regression model of potential risk in Philadelphia for the 1993 extreme heat event. [Copyright 2009 Elsevier]