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Original Research

Temperature and Humidity Effects on Hospital Morbidity in Darwin, Australia

Authors:

James Goldie ,

ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Systems Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
About James
BSc (Adv) (Hons), MBus (S&T)
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Steven C. Sherwood,

ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Systems Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
About Steven C.
BSc, MSc, PhD
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Donna Green,

ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Systems Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
About Donna
BSc (Hons), MA, PhD
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Lisa Alexander

ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Systems Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
About Lisa
BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD
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Abstract

Background

Many studies have explored the relationship between temperature and health in the context of a changing climate, but few have considered the effects of humidity, particularly in tropical locations, on human health and well-being. To investigate this potential relationship, this study assessed the main and interacting effects of daily temperature and humidity on hospital admission rates for selected heat-relevant diagnoses in Darwin, Australia.

Methods

Univariate and bivariate Poisson generalized linear models were used to find statistically significant predictors and the admission rates within bins of predictors were compared to explore nonlinear effects.

Findings

The analysis indicated that nighttime humidity was the most statistically significant predictor (P < 0.001), followed by daytime temperature and average daily humidity (P < 0.05). There was no evidence of a significant interaction between them or other predictors. The nighttime humidity effect appeared to be strongly nonlinear: Hot days appeared to have higher admission rates when they were preceded by high nighttime humidity.

Conclusions

From this analysis, we suggest that heat-health policies in tropical regions similar to Darwin need to accommodate the effects of temperature and humidity at different times of day.

How to Cite: Goldie, J., Sherwood, S.C., Green, D. and Alexander, L., 2015. Temperature and Humidity Effects on Hospital Morbidity in Darwin, Australia. Annals of Global Health, 81(3), pp.333–341. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.aogh.2015.07.003
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Published on 27 Nov 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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