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Heat-related mortality impacts attributed to climate change: a global study over historical period.

A, Vicedo-cabrera1; F, Sera1; A, Tobias2; C, Astrom3; Y, Guo4; Y, Honda5; A, Deluca6; D, Hondula7; D, Ibarreta8; V, Huber9,,10; A, Gasparrini1,,11

Environmental Epidemiology: October 2019 - Volume 3 - Issue - p 414
doi: 10.1097/01.EE9.0000610636.25240.e8
Abstracts of the 2019 Annual Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, August 25-28 2019, Utrecht, the Netherlands

1London School Of Hygiene And Tropical Medicine

2Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research, Spanish Council for Scientific Research

3Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University

4Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University

5Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba.

6Climate and Health Program, Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal).

7School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University.

8European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)

9Department of Physical, Chemical and Natural Systems, Universidad Pablo de Olavide.

10Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

11Centre for Statistical Methodology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0, where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.

OPS 13: Heat, cold and mortality, Room 117, Floor 1, August 26, 2019, 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Background & Aim: While it is widely accepted that climate change will increase heat-related deaths in the future, limited quantitative evidence exists on current and past impacts already attributable to climate change. This large global study aims at estimating the proportion of excess heat-related mortality attributed to global warming experienced in recent decades across various regions of the world, by comparing impact estimates derived under actual trends and pre-industrial projection scenarios.

Methods: We studied 601 locations across 30 countries included in MCC database for which observed daily temperature-mortality data was available for at least 2 years between 1995 and 2005. Location-specific summer-only temperature-mortality associations were estimated through two-stage time-series analyses with quasi-Poisson regression with distributed lag non-linear models and multivariate meta-regression. Excess mortality attributable to climate change was calculated as the difference in heat-related excess deaths occurring above the city-specific minimum mortality temperature, estimated using modelled temperature series consistent with current actual emission trends (“warming”) and pre-industrial forcings (“non-warming”), respectively, obtained from the ISIMIP2b database.

Results: Overall excess heat-mortality fractions of 1.60% [95%CI: 0.30–2.76] and 1.03% [0.13–2.04] were estimated during summer under the “warming” and “non-warming” scenarios, respectively. This translates to 35% of historical heat-excess mortality attributed to climate change. Statistically significant differences between scenarios were observed in Central America (0.80 [0.16–1.63] vs.0.29 [-0.02–0.86]), North of Europe (0.86 [0.09–1.53] vs. 0.61 [0.03–1.18]), Central Europe (2.62 [1.52–3.67] vs.1.62 [0.49–2.64]), South of Europe (8.00 [5.15–10.88] vs. 5.32 [1.95–8.50]), and Australia (1.54 [0.15–2.82] vs. 0.98 [-0.02–2.12]), translating to 63%, 29%, 38%, 34% and 36% of the heat-excess mortality attributed to climate change, respectively.

Conclusions: Our preliminary findings suggest that climate change is already responsible for a considerable increase in heat-related mortality burden. These results stress the importance of strengthening current mitigation strategies to reduce further warming of the planet and related health impacts.

Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of Environmental Epidemiology. All rights reserved.