Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Effectiveness of Intervening on Social Isolation to Reduce Mortality during Heat Waves in Aged Population: A Retrospective Ecological Study

Version 1 : Received: 1 October 2021 / Approved: 11 October 2021 / Online: 11 October 2021 (08:59:11 CEST)

How to cite: Orlando, S.; Mosconi, C.; De Santo, C.; Gialloreti, L.E.; Inzerilli, M.C.; Madaro, O.; Macinelli, S.; Ciccacci, F.; Marazzi, M.C.; Palombi, L.; Liotta, G. The Effectiveness of Intervening on Social Isolation to Reduce Mortality during Heat Waves in Aged Population: A Retrospective Ecological Study. Preprints 2021, 2021100152 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202110.0152.v1). Orlando, S.; Mosconi, C.; De Santo, C.; Gialloreti, L.E.; Inzerilli, M.C.; Madaro, O.; Macinelli, S.; Ciccacci, F.; Marazzi, M.C.; Palombi, L.; Liotta, G. The Effectiveness of Intervening on Social Isolation to Reduce Mortality during Heat Waves in Aged Population: A Retrospective Ecological Study. Preprints 2021, 2021100152 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202110.0152.v1).

Abstract

Background: Heat waves are correlated with increased mortality in the aged population. Social isolation is known as a vulnerability factor. This study aims at evaluating the correlation between an intervention to reduce social isolation and the increase in mortality in the population over 80 during heat waves. Methods: The study adopts a retrospective ecologic design. We compared the excess mortality rate (EMR) in the over 80 population during heat waves in urban areas of Rome (Italy), where a program to reduce social isolation was implemented compared to others where it was not implemented. We measured mortality of the summer periods from 2015 to 2019 compared with 2014 (a year without heat waves). Winter mortality, cadastral income and proportion of over 90 were included in the multivariate Poisson regression. Results: The EMR in the intervention and controls was 2.70% and 3.81%, respectively. Rate ratio 0.70 (c.i. 0.54 - 0.92, p-value 0.01). The Incidence Rate Ratio (IRR) of the interventions with respect to the controls is 0.76 (c.i. 0.59 - 0.98). After adjusting for other variables, the IRR was 0.44 (c.i. 0.32 - 0.60). Conclusions: Reducing social isolation could limit the impact of heat waves on the mortality of the elderly population.

Keywords

extreme weather; heat waves; anvironment and public healt; aged; older adults; social behaviour; interpersonal relation; social isolation; mortality; lonelliness

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