Extreme temperatures and paediatric emergency department admissions

Xu, Zhiwei, Hu, Wenbiao, Su, Hong, Turner, Lyle R., Ye, Xiaofang, Wang, Jiajia and Tong, Shilu (2014) Extreme temperatures and paediatric emergency department admissions. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 68 4: 304-311. doi:10.1136/jech-2013-202725

Author Xu, Zhiwei
Hu, Wenbiao
Su, Hong
Turner, Lyle R.
Ye, Xiaofang
Wang, Jiajia
Tong, Shilu
Title Extreme temperatures and paediatric emergency department admissions
Journal name Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0143-005X
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1136/jech-2013-202725
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 68
Issue 4
Start page 304
End page 311
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher B M J Group
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of extreme temperatures.

Objective: To examine the relationship between extreme temperatures and paediatric emergency department admissions (EDAs) in Brisbane, Australia, during 2003-2009.

Methods: A quasi-Poisson generalised linear model combined with a distributed lag non-linear model was used to examine the relationships between extreme temperatures and age-, gender- and cause-specific paediatric EDAs, while controlling for air pollution, relative humidity, day of the week, influenza epidemics, public holiday, season and long-term trends. The model residuals were checked to identify whether there was an added effect due to heat waves or cold spells.

There were 131 249 EDAs among children during the study period. Both high (RR=1.27; 95% CI 1.12 to 1.44) and low (RR=1.81; 95% CI 1.66 to 1.97) temperatures were significantly associated with an increase in paediatric EDAs in Brisbane. Male children were more vulnerable to temperature effects. Children aged 0-4 years were more vulnerable to heat effects and children aged 10-14 years were more sensitive to both hot and cold effects. High temperatures had a significant impact on several paediatric diseases, including intestinal infectious diseases, respiratory diseases, endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases, nervous system diseases and chronic lower respiratory diseases. Low temperatures were significantly associated with intestinal infectious diseases, respiratory diseases and endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases. An added effect of heat waves on childhood chronic lower respiratory diseases was seen, but no added effect of cold spells was found.

Conclusions: As climate change continues, children are at particular risk of a variety of diseases which might be triggered by extremely high temperatures. This study suggests that preventing the effects of extreme temperature on children with respiratory diseases might reduce the number of EDAs.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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