Heat Islands and mortality in the elderly.
Heat waves are associated with adverse health outcomes in urban
settings, but effects in potentially vulnerable populations have not
been well studied. Laaidi et al. (p. 254) used a time series of 61
satellite images to produce thermal indicators of surface temperatures
and diurnal temperature amplitude, with different lags between
meteorological data and health impacts. The authors used health data
from a case-control study of 241 people [greater than or equal to] 65
years of age who died in the city of Paris, France, or a nearby suburban
area during the August 2003 heat wave. Mortality risk was significantly
associated with exposure for two indicators: minimum temperatures
averaged for 1 to 13 August and minimum temperature averaged on the day
of death and the 6 preceding days. The results underscore the influence
of night temperatures on the health impact of heat waves in urban areas.
Urban heat exposure indicators based on satellite imagery have the
potential to identify areas with higher risk of death, which could
inform intervention decisions by policy makers.