Impact of high ambient temperature on unintentional injuries in high-income countries: a narrative systematic literature review.


Otte Im Kampe, E; Kovats, S; Hajat, S; (2016) Impact of high ambient temperature on unintentional injuries in high-income countries: a narrative systematic literature review. BMJ open, 6 (2). e010399. ISSN 2044-6055 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010399

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Abstract

Given the likelihood of increased hot weather due to climate change, it is crucial to have prevention measures in place to reduce the health burden of high temperatures and heat waves. The aim of this review is to summarise and evaluate the evidence on the effects of summertime weather on unintentional injuries in high-income countries. 3 databases (Global Public Health, EMBASE and MEDLINE) were searched by using related keywords and their truncations in the title and abstract, and reference lists of key studies were scanned. Studies reporting heatstroke and intentional injuries were excluded. 13 studies met our inclusion criteria. 11 out of 13 studies showed that the risk of unintentional injuries increases with increasing ambient temperatures. On days with moderate temperatures, the increased risk varied between 0.4% and 5.3% for each 1°C increase in ambient temperature. On extreme temperature days, the risk of injuries decreased. 2 out of 3 studies on occupational accidents found an increase in work-related accidents during high temperatures. For trauma hospital admissions, 6 studies reported an increase during hot weather, whereas 1 study found no association. The evidence for impacts on injuries by subgroups such as children, the elderly and drug users was limited and inconsistent. The present review describes a broader range of types of unintentional fatal and non-fatal injuries (occupational, trauma hospital admissions, traffic, fire entrapments, poisoning and drug overdose) than has previously been reported. Our review confirms that hot weather can increase the risk of unintentional injuries and accidents in high-income countries. The results are useful for injury prevention strategies.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
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PubMed ID: 26868947
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2530926

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