Empirical evidence suggests adverse climate events have not affected Australian women's health and well-being

Powers, Jennifer R., Loxton, Deborah, Baker, Jeanine, Rich, Jane L. and Dobson, Annette J. (2012) Empirical evidence suggests adverse climate events have not affected Australian women's health and well-being. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 36 5: 452-457. doi:10.1111/j.1753-6405.2012.00848.x

Author Powers, Jennifer R.
Loxton, Deborah
Baker, Jeanine
Rich, Jane L.
Dobson, Annette J.
Title Empirical evidence suggests adverse climate events have not affected Australian women's health and well-being
Journal name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1326-0200
Publication date 2012-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2012.00848.x
Volume 36
Issue 5
Start page 452
End page 457
Total pages 6
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: To compare the health and well-being of women by exposure to adverse climate events. An Exceptional Circumstance declaration (EC) was used as a proxy for adverse climate events. The Australian government may provide financial support to people living in EC areas, i.e. areas experiencing a one in 20–25 year event (drought, flood or fire) that results in a severe, extended downturn in farm or farm-related income.

Methods: Data from 6,584 53–58 year old non-metropolitan women participating in the 2004 survey of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH) were linked to EC data. Generalised linear models were used to analyse differences in SF-36 General Health (GH) and Mental Health (MH) and perceived stress by EC for all women. Models were adjusted for demographic, health-related and psychosocial factors potentially on the pathway between EC and health. Given that the effects on health were expected to be greater in vulnerable people, analyses were repeated for women with worse socioeconomic circumstances.

Results: GH, MH and stress did not differ for the 3,366 women in EC areas and 3,218 women in non-EC areas. GH, MH and stress were worse among vulnerable women (who had difficulty managing on available income) regardless of EC.

Conclusion and implications: This research adds to the existing literature on climate change, associated adverse climate events and health, by suggesting that multiple resources available in high income countries, including government support and individual psychosocial resources may mitigate some of the health impacts of adverse climate events, even among vulnerable people.
Keyword Climate change
Adverse climate events
Women's health
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
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