Attributable risks of hospitalizations for urologic diseases due to heat exposure in Queensland, Australia, 1995-2016

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  • Peng Lu
  • Guoxin Xia
  • Qi Zhao
  • Donna Green
  • Lim, Youn-Hee
  • Shanshan Li
  • Yuming Guo

BACKGROUND: Heat exposure is a risk factor for urologic diseases. However, there are limited existing studies that have examined the relationship between high temperatures and urologic disease. The aim of this study was to examine the associations between heat exposure and hospitalizations for urologic diseases in Queensland, Australia, during the hot seasons of 1995-2016 and to quantify the attributable risks.

METHODS: We obtained 238 427 hospitalized cases with urologic diseases from Queensland Health between 1 December 1995 and 31 December 2016. Meteorological data were collected from the Scientific Information for Land Owners-a publicly accessible database of Australian climate data that provides daily data sets for a range of climate variables. A time-stratified, case-crossover design fitted with the conditional quasi-Poisson regression model was used to estimate the associations between temperature and hospitalizations for urologic diseases at the postcode level during each hot season (December-March). Attributable rates of hospitalizations for urologic disease due to heat exposure were calculated. Stratified analyses were performed by age, sex, climate zone, socio-economic factors and cause-specific urologic diseases.

RESULTS: We found that a 1°C increase in temperature was associated with a 3.3% [95% confidence interval (CI): 2.9%, 3.7%] increase in hospitalization for the selected urologic diseases during the hot season. Hospitalizations for renal failure showed the strongest increase 5.88% (95% CI: 5.25%, 6.51%) among the specific causes of hospital admissions considered. Males and the elderly (≥60 years old) showed stronger associations with heat exposure than females and younger groups. The sex- and age-specific associations with heat exposure were similar across specific causes of urologic diseases. Overall, nearly one-fifth of hospitalizations for urologic diseases were attributable to heat exposure in Queensland.

CONCLUSIONS: Heat exposure is associated with increased hospitalizations for urologic disease in Queensland during the hot season. This finding reinforces the pressing need for dedicated public health-promotion campaigns that target susceptible populations, especially for those more predisposed to renal failure. Given that short-term climate projections identify an increase in the frequency, duration and intensity of heatwaves, this public health advisory will be of increasing urgency in coming years.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)144-154
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association.

ID: 281071853