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Principal Investigator: Madrigano, Jaime
Institute Receiving Award Johns Hopkins University
Location Baltimore, MD
Grant Number R01ES031955
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 27 Jul 2022 to 31 Dec 2026
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): PROJECT SUMMARY In the United States, heat is responsible for more fatalities than any other type of weather and the burden of morbidity and mortality attributable to heat is growing. Southern communities, in particular, are expected to suffer some of the greatest consequences of extreme heat in the coming decades. New Orleans, Louisiana, with over a quarter of its population living in poverty, is uniquely sensitive to the health risks from rising temperatures. Quantifying the public health burden of heat is critical to dedicating public health and infrastructure resources that are desperately needed to curb this growing societal problem in New Orleans. However, little is known about the relationship between heat exposure and health outcomes (i.e., the heat metric or threshold that is most predictive of morbidity and mortality) within New Orleans. Further, because this relationship can be modified by local microclimate, population and housing characteristics, individual behavior patterns, and other neighborhood-level factors, locally-specific data and analysis is needed to inform policy action. In the proposed project, we will (1) determine which exposure metrics, thresholds, and duration predict heat-related morbidity and mortality within New Orleans and use this to estimate the current public health burden of heat exposure to children, adults, and the elderly; (2) identify individual and neighborhood characteristics that increase vulnerability to heat-related morbidity and mortality and create an empirically- based heat-health vulnerability index for New Orleans; (3) collect and analyze citizen-sourced measurements of indoor and outdoor thermal environments, social media observations, and “real time” assessments of heat, risk perceptions, and health symptoms through ecological momentary assessment to further characterize microclimates and human behaviors that may lead to increased heat vulnerability; and (4) in collaboration with a community advisory panel, develop city-wide recommendations for improved heat-health preparedness in New Orleans and translate our findings to other communities with the production of a toolkit on heat-health preparedness. Key innovations of this project include the use of novel data sources and methods, such as fine- scale gridded climate data and citizen-sourced measurements of temperature and humidity, to more accurately characterize personal heat exposure; a comprehensive assessment of the burden of heat across the life course to include symptoms of heat stress, sleep quality, hospitalizations, and mortality ascertained through a combination of healthcare claims analysis and ecological momentary assessment; and a dedication to community engagement and research translation throughout the life of the project to ensure that research results lead to policy action and public health improvements.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 98 - Global Health/Climate Change
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Abee Boyles