Assessment of short- and long-term mortality displacement in heat-related deaths in Brisbane, Australia, 1996–2004

Qiao, Zhen, Guo, Yuming, Yu, Weiwei and Tong, Shilu (2015) Assessment of short- and long-term mortality displacement in heat-related deaths in Brisbane, Australia, 1996–2004. Environmental Health Perspectives, 123 8: 766-772. doi:10.1289/ehp.1307606

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Author Qiao, Zhen
Guo, Yuming
Yu, Weiwei
Tong, Shilu
Title Assessment of short- and long-term mortality displacement in heat-related deaths in Brisbane, Australia, 1996–2004
Journal name Environmental Health Perspectives   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0091-6765
1552-9924
Publication date 2015-08-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1289/ehp.1307606
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 123
Issue 8
Start page 766
End page 772
Total pages 7
Place of publication Research Triangle Park, NC United States
Publisher U.S. Department of Health and Human Services * National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Language eng
Subject 2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
2307 Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
Abstract Background: Mortality displacement (or “harvesting”) has been identified as a key issue in the assessment of the temperature–mortality relationship. However, only a few studies have addressed the “harvesting” issue and findings have not been consistent. Objectives: We examined the potential impact of both short- and long-term harvesting effects on heat-related deaths in Brisbane, Australia. Methods: We collected data on daily counts of deaths (nonaccidental, cardiovascular, and respiratory), weather, and air pollution in Brisbane from 1 January 1996 to 30 November 2004. We estimated heat-related deaths, identified potential short-term mortality displacement, and assessed how and to what extent the impact of summer temperature on mortality was modified by mortality in the previous winter using a Poisson time-series regression combined with distributed lag nonlinear model (DLNM). Results: There were significant associations between temperature and each mortality outcome in summer. We found evidence of short-term mortality displacement for respiratory mortality, and evidence of longer-term mortality displacement for nonaccidental and cardiovascular mortality when the preceding winter’s mortality was low. The estimated heat effect on mortality was generally stronger when the preceding winter mortality level was low. For example, we estimated a 22% increase in nonaccidental mortality (95% CI: 14, 30) with a 1°C increase in mean temperature above a 28°C threshold in summers that followed a winter with low mortality, compared with 12% (95% CI: 7, 17) following a winter with high mortality. The short- and long-term mortality displacement appeared to jointly influence the assessment of heat-related deaths. Conclusions: We found evidence of both short- and long-term harvesting effects on heat-related mortality in Brisbane, Australia. Our finding may clarify temperature-related health risks and inform effective public health interventions to manage the health impacts of climate change.
Formatted abstract
Background: Mortality displacement (or “harvesting”) has been identified as a key issue in the assessment of the temperature–mortality relationship. However, only a few studies have addressed the “harvesting” issue and findings have not been consistent.

Objectives: We examined the potential impact of both short- and long-term harvesting effects on heat-related deaths in Brisbane, Australia.

Methods: We collected data on daily counts of deaths (non-accidental, cardiovascular, and respiratory), weather, and air pollution in Brisbane from 1 January 1996 to 30 November 2004. We estimated heat-related deaths, identified potential short-term mortality displacement, and assessed how and to what extent the impact of summer temperature on mortality was modified by mortality in the previous winter using a Poisson time series regression combined with distributed lag nonlinear model (DLNM).

Results: There were significant associations between temperature and each mortality outcome in summer. We found evidence of short-term mortality displacement for respiratory mortality, and evidence of longer-term mortality displacement for non-accidental and cardiovascular mortality when the preceding winter’s mortality was low. The estimated heat effect on mortality was generally stronger when the preceding winter mortality level was low. For example, we estimated a 22% increase in non-accidental mortality (95% CI: 14, 30%) with a 1°C increase in mean temperature above a 28°C threshold in summers that followed a winter with low mortality, compared with 12% (95% CI: 7, 17%) following a winter with high mortality. The short- and long-term mortality displacement appeared to jointly influence the assessment of heat-related deaths.

Conclusions: We found evidence of both short- and long-term harvesting effects on heat-related mortality in Brisbane, Australia. Our finding may clarify temperature-related health risks and inform effective public health interventions to manage the health impacts of climate change.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes PDF reproduced with permission from Environmental Health Perspectives.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
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Created: Thu, 14 May 2015, 21:39:44 EST by Yuming Guo on behalf of School of Public Health