Next Article in Journal
Water Balance and Soil Moisture Deficit of Different Vegetation Units under Semiarid Conditions in the Andes of Southern Ecuador
Next Article in Special Issue
Environmental Heat Stress on Indoor Environments in Shallow, Deep and Covered Atrium Plan Form Office Buildings in Tropics
Previous Article in Journal
Future Scenarios of Soil Erosion in the Alps under Climate Change and Land Cover Transformations Simulated with Automatic Machine Learning
Previous Article in Special Issue
Thermal Environment Design of Outdoor Spaces by Examining Redevelopment Buildings Opposite Central Osaka Station
Open AccessArticle

The Role of Individual and Small-Area Social and Environmental Factors on Heat Vulnerability to Mortality Within and Outside of the Home in Boston, MA

1
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
2
Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
3
Department of Data Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02215, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2020, 8(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8020029
Received: 15 December 2019 / Revised: 24 January 2020 / Accepted: 4 February 2020 / Published: 7 February 2020
Climate change is resulting in heatwaves that are more frequent, severe, and longer lasting, which is projected to double-to-triple the heat-related mortality in Boston, MA if adequate climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies are not implemented. A case-only analysis was used to examine subject and small-area neighborhood characteristics that modified the association between hot days and mortality. Deaths of Boston, Massachusetts residents that occurred from 2000–2015 were analyzed in relation to the daily temperature and heat index during the warm season as part of the case-only analysis. The modification by small-area (census tract, CT) social, and environmental (natural and built) factors was assessed. At-home mortality on hot days was driven by both social and environmental factors, differentially across the City of Boston census tracts, with a greater proportion of low-to-no income individuals or those with limited English proficiency being more highly represented among those who died during the study period; but small-area built environment features, like street trees and enhanced energy efficiency, were able to reduce the relative odds of death within and outside the home. At temperatures below current local thresholds used for heat warnings and advisories, there was increased relative odds of death from substance abuse and assault-related altercations. Geographic weighted regression analyses were used to examine these relationships spatially within a subset of at-home deaths with high-resolution temperature and humidity data. This revealed spatially heterogeneous associations between at-home mortality and social and environmental vulnerability factors.
Keywords: heat-related mortality; built environment; urban resilience; extreme heat; climate change; urban heat island heat-related mortality; built environment; urban resilience; extreme heat; climate change; urban heat island
MDPI and ACS Style

Williams, A.A.; Allen, J.G.; Catalano, P.J.; Spengler, J.D. The Role of Individual and Small-Area Social and Environmental Factors on Heat Vulnerability to Mortality Within and Outside of the Home in Boston, MA. Climate 2020, 8, 29.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop