HealthDay News — Extreme heat was associated with higher all-cause mortality from 2008 to 2017, according to a study published online May 19 in JAMA Network Open.
Sameed Ahmed M. Khatana, M.D., M.P.H., from University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined the association between extreme heat and all-cause mortality rates in the United States. The analysis included the number of extreme heat days in the summer months from 2008 to 2017 (from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Environmental Public Health Tracking Program) and county-level all-cause mortality rates (from the National Center for Health Statistics).
The researchers found that the median number of extreme heat days during the summer months in all 3,108 counties in the contiguous United States was 89 days. Each additional extreme heat day in a month was associated with 0.07 additional death per 100,000 adults after accounting for time-invariant confounding, secular time trends, and time-varying environmental and economic measures. Greater increases in mortality rates were found for older versus younger adults (0.19 deaths per 100,000 individuals), male versus female adults (0.12 deaths per 100,000 individuals), and non-Hispanic Black versus non-Hispanic White adults (0.11 deaths per 100,000 individuals).
“Without mitigation, the projected increase in extreme heat due to climate change may widen health disparities between groups,” the authors write.