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Open AccessArticle

Influence of Heat Waves on Ischemic Heart Diseases in Germany

1
Deutscher Wetterdienst (German Meteorological Service), Center for Biometeorological Research (ZMMF), Stefan-Meier-Str. 4, Freiburg 79104, Germany
2
Federal Environment Agency, Department Environmental Hygiene, Corrensplatz 1, Berlin 14195, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2014, 2(3), 133-152; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli2030133
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 16 June 2014 / Accepted: 18 June 2014 / Published: 26 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Impacts on Health)
The impact of heat waves on ischemic heart disease (IHD) mortality and morbidity in Germany during 2001–2010 is analyzed. Heat waves are defined as periods of at least three consecutive days with daily mean temperature above the 97.5th percentile of the temperature distribution. Daily excess mortality and morbidity rates are used. All calculations were performed separately for 19 regions to allow for the investigation of regional differences. The results show that IHD mortality during heat waves is significantly increased (+15.2% more deaths on heat wave days). In stark contrast, no heat wave influence on hospital admissions due to IHD could be observed. Regional differences in heat wave IHD mortality are present, with the strongest impact in Western Germany and weaker than average effects in the Southeastern and Northwestern regions. The increase in mortality during heat waves is generally stronger for females (+18.7%) than for males (+11.4%), and for chronic ischemic diseases (+18.4%) than for myocardial infarctions (+12.2%). Longer and more intense heat waves feature stronger effects on IHD mortality, while timing in season seems to be less important. Since climate change will most likely enhance the number and intensity of heat waves, the obtained results point to public adaptation strategies to reduce the future heat wave impact on mortality. View Full-Text
Keywords: heat waves; human health; cardiovascular diseases; ischemic heart disease; mortality; hospital admissions; Germany heat waves; human health; cardiovascular diseases; ischemic heart disease; mortality; hospital admissions; Germany
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Zacharias, S.; Koppe, C.; Mücke, H.-G. Influence of Heat Waves on Ischemic Heart Diseases in Germany. Climate 2014, 2, 133-152.

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