The Impact of Global-Warming-Induced Diurnal Temperature Range Reduction on Hospital Emergency Room Admissions in Beijing, China
Wang, M-z., Zheng, S., He, S-l., Li, B., Teng, H-j., Wang, S-g., Yin, L., Shang, K-z. and Li, T-s. 2013. The association between diurnal temperature range and emergency room admissions for cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive and genitourinary disease among the elderly: A time series study. Science of the Total Environment 456-457: 370-375.
Realizing the significance of these related facts, Wang et al. decided to evaluate the short-term effect of diurnal temperature range (DTR) on emergency room (ER) admissions among elderly adults in Beijing." As they describe it, "after controlling the long-time and seasonal trend, weather, air pollution and other confounding factors, a semi-parametric generalized additive model (GAM) was used to analyze the exposure-effect relationship between DTR and ER admissions among elderly adults with different lag structures from 2009 to 2011 in Beijing," where they "stratified groups by age and gender." And what did they find?
The nine researchers report that "significant associations were found between DTR and four major causes of daily ER admissions among elderly adults in Beijing." More specifically, they state that "a 1°C increase in the 8-day moving average of DTR (lag 07) corresponded to an increase of 2.08% in respiratory ER admissions and 2.14% in digestive ER admissions," while "a 1°C increase in the 3-day and 6-day moving average of DTR (lag 02 and lag 05) corresponded to a 0.76% increase in cardiovascular ER admissions, and a 1.81% increase in genitourinary ER admissions, respectively." And they add that "people aged 75 years and older were associated more strongly with DTR than the 65-74 age group."
The results of Wang et al., combined with those of Karl et al. (1984, 1991), make it clear that the diurnal nature of the global warming of the past century or so has helped to reduce the incidence of many life-threating health problems of the elderly in Beijing, China, just as it has also done for many people, both old and young, in a number of other countries - including Australia (Xu et al., 2013), Hong Kong (Tam et al., 2009) and Korea (Lim et al., 2012) - as well as other parts of China (Kan et al., 2007; Yang et al., 2013).
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