Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Evaluating the Sensitivity of Heat Wave Definitions Among North Carolina Physiographic Regions

Version 1 : Received: 15 July 2022 / Approved: 18 July 2022 / Online: 18 July 2022 (10:14:10 CEST)

How to cite: Puvvula, J.; Abadi, A.; Conlon, K.; Rennie, J.; Jones, H.; Bell, J. Evaluating the Sensitivity of Heat Wave Definitions Among North Carolina Physiographic Regions. Preprints 2022, 2022070260 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202207.0260.v1). Puvvula, J.; Abadi, A.; Conlon, K.; Rennie, J.; Jones, H.; Bell, J. Evaluating the Sensitivity of Heat Wave Definitions Among North Carolina Physiographic Regions. Preprints 2022, 2022070260 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202207.0260.v1).

Abstract

Exposure to extreme heat is a known risk factor that is associated with increased heat-related illness (HRI) outcomes. The relevance of heat wave definitions could change across the health conditions and geographies due to the heterogenous climate profile. This study compared the sensitivity of 28 heat wave definitions associated with HRI emergency department visits over five summer seasons (2011-2016), stratified by two physiographic regions (Coastal and Piedmont) in North Carolina. The HRI rate ratios associated with heat waves were estimated using the generalized linear regression framework assuming a negative binomial distribution. We compared the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) values across the heat wave definitions to identify an optimal heat wave definition. In the Coastal region, heat wave definition based on daily maximum temperature with a threshold >90th percentile for two or more consecutive days had the optimal model fit. In the Piedmont region, heat wave definition based on the daily minimum temperature with a threshold value >90th percentile for two or more consecutive days was optimal. Additionally, we observed that the optimal heat wave definitions from this study captured moderate and frequent heat episodes than the national weather service (NWS) heat products that worked best for extreme heat episodes. This study compared the HRI morbidity risk associated with epidemiologic-based heat wave definitions and with NWS heat products. Our findings could be used for public health education and suggest recalibrating NWS heat products.

Keywords

Heat Wave; Heat-related illness; Early heat-health warning systems

Subject

LIFE SCIENCES, Other

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