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Title: Tropical cyclone exposure is associated with increased hospitalization rates in older adults.

Authors: Parks, Robbie M; Anderson, G Brooke; Nethery, Rachel C; Navas-Acien, Ana; Dominici, Francesca; Kioumourtzoglou, Marianthi-Anna

Published In Nat Commun, (2021 03 09)

Abstract: Hurricanes and other tropical cyclones have devastating effects on society. Previous case studies have quantified their impact on some health outcomes for particular tropical cyclones, but a comprehensive assessment over longer periods is currently missing. Here, we used data on 70 million Medicare hospitalizations and tropical cyclone exposures over 16 years (1999-2014). We formulated a conditional quasi-Poisson model to examine how tropical cyclone exposure (days greater than Beaufort scale gale-force wind speed; ≥34 knots) affect hospitalizations for 13 mutually-exclusive, clinically-meaningful causes. We found that tropical cyclone exposure was associated with average increases in hospitalizations from several causes over the week following exposure, including respiratory diseases (14.2%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 10.9-17.9%); infectious and parasitic diseases (4.3%; 95%CI: 1.2-8.1%); and injuries (8.7%; 95%CI: 6.0-11.8%). Average decadal tropical cyclone exposure in all impacted counties would be associated with an estimated 16,772 (95%CI: 8,265-25,278) additional hospitalizations. Our findings demonstrate the need for targeted preparedness strategies for hospital personnel before, during, and after tropical cyclones.

PubMed ID: 33750775 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: No MeSH terms associated with this publication

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