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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111

Abstract

MARTINEZ NAVARRO, Ferran; SIMON-SORIA, Fernando  and  LOPEZ-ABENTE, Gonzalo. Evaluation of the impact of the heat wave in the summer of 2003 on mortality. Gac Sanit [online]. 2004, vol.18, suppl.1, pp. 250-258. ISSN 0213-9111.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112004000700040.

The effect of the elevated temperatures experimented in Europe during the summer 2003 on mortality was observed in several countries. This study, carried out in Spain, describes the mortality between the 1st June and the 31st August and evaluates the effect of the heat wave on mortality. Observed deaths were obtained from official vital Registers of the capital city of the 50 provinces. Deaths from 107 randomly selected rural villages were also obtained from the same source. Observed deaths were compared with expected estimated applying a Poisson regression model to historical mortality series adjusting for the upwards trend and seasonality observed. Meteorological information was provided by the National Institute of Meteorology. Spain experienced three heat waves. Total excess deaths associated was 8% (43212 observed compared with 40046 expected). Excess deaths were only observed among 65 years old and over (15%). The increased mortality was also observed in rural villages. This phenomenon is becoming an emerging public health problem because of its increasing attributable risk because of the aging of Spanish population. Alert and response systems based on monitoring of climate related risks, emergency rooms activity and mortality and the strengthening of social and health services response capacity should be considered.

Keywords : Heat [adverse effects]; Human; Spain [epidemiology]; Europe [epidemiology]; Meteorological factors; Mortality; Seasons.

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