Document Detail

General and specific mortality among the elderly during the 2003 heat wave in Genoa (Italy).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16890219     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The effects of heat waves on health can be serious for elderly persons, especially those in urban areas. We investigated in-depth the mortality excess during the 2003 heat wave among elderly persons (>74 years) in the City of Genoa (Italy). The excess in general mortality was calculated for the period July 16-August 31, as the ratio of observed to expected deaths. To evaluate "harvesting", we compared observed and expected mortality in the period September 2003-April 2004. We also studied the relationship between mortality and climatic conditions considering daily maximum temperature and Humidex discomfort degrees, as well as "lag-time". For cause-specific mortality, we considered all pathologies reported on the death certificate. The excess in general mortality was significant and was greatest in the first half of August. During Summer 2003, in Genoa the climatic conditions (described in terms of maximum temperature and Humidex Index) were extremely hot; regarding lag-time, the greatest correlation between the number of observed deaths and the maximum temperature values was observed for the three preceding days (rho=0.568; significance level<0.01). The prominent causes of death, for which an excess was observed, were cerebrovascular diseases, severe respiratory diseases, severe renal diseases, dementia; moreover, certain pathologic conditions and symptoms, usually not lethal, were also frequent causes of death (e.g., hypovolemia, hyperpyrexia, decubitus ulcers and immobilization syndrome). The results of this study confirm the relationship between the heat waves and death among elderly, stressing that, because of their poorer physical health and the prevalence of cognitive disturbances that hinder risk perception, it is necessary to properly care for them during heat waves.
Susanna Conti; Maria Masocco; Paola Meli; Giada Minelli; Ernesto Palummeri; Renata Solimini; Virgilia Toccaceli; Monica Vichi
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2006-08-04
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental research     Volume:  103     ISSN:  0013-9351     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Res.     Publication Date:  2007 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-01-26     Completed Date:  2007-03-22     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0147621     Medline TA:  Environ Res     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  267-74     Citation Subset:  IM    
Istituto Superiore di Sanita, National Centre of Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion, Viale Regina Elena, no. 299, IT-00161 Roma, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Cause of Death
Heat Exhaustion / mortality*
Hot Temperature*
Italy / epidemiology
Mortality / trends
Urban Population* / statistics & numerical data

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