Environmental temperature and thermal indices: What is the most effective predictor of heat-related mortality in different geographical contexts?

Marco Morabito, Alfonso Crisci, Alessandro Messeri, Valerio Capecchi, Pietro Amedeo Modesti, Gian Franco Gensini, Simone Orlandini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this study is to identify the most effective thermal predictor of heat-related very-elderly mortality in two cities located in different geographical contexts of central Italy. We tested the hypothesis that use of the state-of-the-art rational thermal indices, the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI), might provide an improvement in predicting heat-related mortality with respect to other predictors. Data regarding very elderly people (≥75 years) who died in inland and coastal cities from 2006 to 2008 (May-October) and meteorological and air pollution were obtained from the regional mortality and environmental archives. Rational (UTCI) and direct thermal indices represented by a set of bivariate/multivariate apparent temperature indices were assessed. Correlation analyses and generalized additive models were applied. The Akaike weights were used for the best model selection. Direct multivariate indices showed the highest correlations with UTCI and were also selected as the best thermal predictors of heat-related mortality for both inland and coastal cities. Conversely, the UTCI was never identified as the best thermal predictor. The use of direct multivariate indices, which also account for the extra effect of wind speed and/or solar radiation, revealed the best fitting with all-cause, very-elderly mortality attributable to heat stress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number961750
JournalTheScientificWorldJournal
Volume2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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