Exposure to extreme heat and precipitation events associated with increased risk of hospitalization for asthma in Maryland, U.S.A.
Environmental Health, April 2016
Sutyajeet Soneja, Chengsheng Jiang, Jared Fisher, Crystal Romeo Upperman, Clifford Mitchell, Amir Sapkota
Several studies have investigated the association between asthma exacerbations and exposures to ambient temperature and precipitation. However, limited data exists regarding how extreme events, projected to grow in frequency, intensity, and duration in the future in response to our changing climate, will impact the risk of hospitalization for asthma. The objective of our study was to quantify the association between frequency of extreme heat and precipitation events and increased risk of hospitalization for asthma in Maryland between 2000 and 2012. We used a time-stratified case-crossover design to examine the association between exposure to extreme heat and precipitation events and risk of hospitalization for asthma (ICD-9 code 493, n = 115,923). Occurrence of extreme heat events in Maryland increased the risk of same day hospitalization for asthma (lag 0) by 3 % (Odds Ratio (OR): 1.03, 95 % Confidence Interval (CI): 1.00, 1.07), with a considerably higher risk observed for extreme heat events that occur during summer months (OR: 1.23, 95 % CI: 1.15, 1.33). Likewise, summertime extreme precipitation events increased the risk of hospitalization for asthma by 11 % in Maryland (OR: 1.11, 95 % CI: 1.06, 1.17). Across age groups, increase in risk for asthma hospitalization from exposure to extreme heat event during the summer months was most pronounced among youth and adults, while those related to extreme precipitation event was highest among ≤4 year olds. Exposure to extreme heat and extreme precipitation events, particularly during summertime, is associated with increased risk of hospitalization for asthma in Maryland. Our results suggest that projected increases in frequency of extreme heat and precipitation event will have significant impact on public health.
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