Effect of ambient temperature on Australian northern territory public hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease among indigenous and non-indigenous populations

Leanne Webb, Hilary Bambrick, Peter Tait, Donna Green, Lisa Alexander

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Hospitalisations are associated with ambient temperature, but little is known about responses in population sub-groups. In this study, heat responses for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in two age groups were examined for two categories of cardiac diseases using daily hospital admissions from five Northern Territory hospitals (1992-2011). Admission rates during the hottest five per cent of days and the coolest five per cent of days were compared with rates at other times. Among 25-64 year olds, the Indigenous female population was more adversely affected by very hot days than the non-Indigenous female population, with admission rates for ischaemic heart disease (IHD) increasing by 32%. People older than 65 were more sensitive to cold, with non-Indigenous male admissions for heart failure increasing by 64%, and for IHD by 29%. For older Indigenous males, IHD admissions increased by 52% during cold conditions. For older non-Indigenous females, increases in admissions for heart failure were around 50% on these cold days, and 64% for older Indigenous females. We conclude that under projected climate change conditions, admissions for IHD amongst younger Indigenous people would increase in hot conditions, while admissions among elderly people during cold weather may be reduced. The responses to temperature, while showing significant relationships across the Northern Territory, may vary by region. These variations were not explored in this assessment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1942-1959
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Volume11
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2014

    Keywords

    • Ambient temperature
    • Australia
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Climate
    • Hospital admissions
    • Indigenous health

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