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Impact of heat waves on hospitalisation and mortality in nursing homes

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Subtitle:a case-crossover study
Climate change leads to more days with extremely hot temperatures. Previous analyses of heat waves have documented a short-term rise in mortality. The results on the relationship between high temperatures and hospitalisations, especially in vulnerable patients admitted to nursing homes, are inconsistent. The objective of this research was to examine the discrepancy between heat-related mortality and morbidity in nursing homes. A time-stratified case-crossover study about the impact of heat waves on mortality and hospitalisations between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2017 was conducted in 10 nursing homes over 5 years in Flanders, Belgium. In this study, the events were deaths and hospitalisations. We selected our control days during the same month as the events and matched them by day of the week. Heat waves were the exposure. Conditional logistic regression models were applied. The associations were reported as odds ratios at lag 0, 1, 2, and 3 and their 95% confidence intervals. In the investigated time period, 3048 hospitalisations took place and 1888 residents died. The conditional logistic regression showed that odds ratios of mortality and hospitalisations during heat waves were 1.61 (95% confidence interval 1.10-2.37) and 0.96 (95% confidence interval 0.67-1.36), respectively, at lag 0. Therefore, the increase in mortality during heat waves was statistically significant, but no significant changes in hospitalisations were obtained. Our result suggests that heat waves have an adverse effect on mortality in Flemish nursing homes but have no significant effect on the number of hospitalisations.
Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health
ISSN: 1661-7827
Volume: 18
Number of pages: 8
Publication year:2021