[Source: PLoS One, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
OPEN ACCESS / PEER-REVIEWED / RESEARCH ARTICLE
Temporal changes in the effects of ambient temperatures on hospital admissions in Spain
Èrica Martínez-Solanas, Xavier Basagaña
Published: June 13, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218262
The exposure to extreme ambient temperatures has been reported to increase mortality, although less is known about its impact on morbidity. The analysis of temporal changes in temperature-health associations has also focused on mortality with no studies on hospitalizations worldwide. Studies on temporal variations can provide insights on changes in susceptibility or on effectiveness of public health interventions. We aimed to analyse the effects of temperature on cause-specific hospital admissions in Spain and assess temporal changes using two periods, the second one characterized by the introduction of a heat health prevention plan.
Daily counts of non-scheduled hospital admissions for cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and respiratory diseases and daily maximum temperature were obtained for each Spanish province for the period 1997–2013. The relationship between temperature and hospitalizations was estimated using distributed lag non-linear models. We compared the risk of hospitalization due to temperatures (cold, heat and extreme heat) in two periods (1997–2002 and 2004–2013).
Cold temperatures were associated with increased risk of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and respiratory hospital admissions. Hot temperatures were only associated with higher hospital admissions for respiratory causes while hospitalizations for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases did not increase with heat. There was a small reduction in heat-related respiratory admissions in period 2. Whereas cold-related hospitalizations for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases increased in period 2, a significant reduction for respiratory hospitalizations was reported.
Our results suggested that heat had an adverse impact on hospital admissions for respiratory diseases, while cold increased the risk of the three studied cause-specific hospitalizations. Public health interventions should also focus on morbidity effects of temperature.
Citation: Martínez-Solanas È, Basagaña X (2019) Temporal changes in the effects of ambient temperatures on hospital admissions in Spain. PLoS ONE 14(6): e0218262. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218262
Editor: Jeffrey Shaman, Columbia University, UNITED STATES
Received: December 11, 2018; Accepted: May 29, 2019; Published: June 13, 2019
Copyright: © 2019 Martínez-Solanas, Basagaña. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Data Availability: The data that support the findings of this study are available from the “Instituto de Información Sanitaria” (Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equity), but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study and so are not publicly available. Researchers will be able to request data directly from the “Instituto de Información Sanitaria” at the email address email@example.com.
Funding: XB was supported by a grant awarded by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III and co-funded by European Union (Project “PI14/00421″). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Keywords: Heatwaves; Cold waves; Extreme weather; Spain.