Global climate change is an environmental hazard with significant public health impacts. High-impact weather events including periods of extreme temperature or extreme precipitation are frequently associated with adverse effects on human health. This study evaluates the impact of extreme weather events on injuries across New Hampshire. A set of five daily extreme weather metrics (EWMs) was analyzed: daily maximum temperature ≤32 °F (0 °C), daily maximum temperature ≥90 °F (32 °C), daily maximum temperature ≥95 °F (35 °C), daily precipitation ≥1″, and daily precipitation ≥2″. Exposure to these EWMs was defined by linking the population within 10 miles of nine weather stations distributed across the state. Injuries were defined as hospitalizations categorized as: all-cause injury, vehicle accidents, accidental falls, accidents due to natural and environmental causes (including excessive heat, excessive cold, exposure due to weather conditions, lightning, and storms and floods), accidental drowning, and carbon monoxide poisoning. The associations between all injury categories and all EWMs as well as daily maximum temperature and daily precipitation were explored. A quasi-Poisson regression model was used to evaluate the relationship between the four strongest exposure–outcome pairs linking maximum temperature to all-cause injury-, vehicle accident-, accidental fall-, and heat-related hospital visits. Results indicate that daily maximum temperature (>90 °F) was most strongly associated with heat-related hospital visits and was also associated with all-cause injury-related hospital visits. Future work should include further analysis of cold weather metrics and incorporate these findings into public health planning and response efforts.
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