Home > Lifestyle > Ageing well > News 08 March 2013 Outdoor heat increases hospitalisation in elderly Outdoor heat is associated with a significantly increased risk of emergency hospitalisation for respiratory disorders in the elderly, says study. 0 iStock Sign up for the newsletter » Quiz How long will you live? » Ask DietDoc » Ask CyberDoc » Outdoor heat is associated with a significantly increased risk of emergency hospitalisation for respiratory disorders in the elderly, according to a large epidemiological study of more than 12.5 million Medicare beneficiaries. "While outdoor heat has been shown to increase respiratory mortality, evidence on the relationship between heat and respiratory hospitalisations has been less consistent," said lead author G. Brooke Anderson, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "In the largest population of the elderly yet studied, we found strong evidence that short-term exposure to outdoor heat increases the risk of hospitalisation for COPD and respiratory tract infections. This relationship was consistent for men and women and across all age groups studied."The findings were published online ahead of print publication in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.How the study was doneThe study included 213 urban counties across the United States and more than 30% of the US population aged 65 or older. Data on Medicare emergency respiratory hospitalisations were obtained for the period 1999-2008, along with measurements of weather and air pollution. On average, respiratory hospitalisations increased 4.3% for each 10°F increase in daily mean summer temperature. This association, which was not changed by adjustments for air pollution, age, gender or seasonal trends in hospitalization rates and temperature, was strongest on the day of exposure to heat and remained elevated the day following exposure. The increased risk for heat-related hospitalisation was similar for COPD (4.7%) and respiratory tract infections (4.1%), and tended to be higher in counties where summers are typically mild.Clear and consistent evidenceEach 10°F increase in daily temperature translates to approximately 30 excess respiratory hospitalisations per day among the elderly in the 213 counties studied, with larger increases in temperature expected to result in more excess hospitalisations. "Our study provides clear and consistent evidence of a link between outdoor heat and hospitalisation for respiratory disease in the elderly," said senior author Dr. Roger D. Peng, associate professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "As the prevalence of respiratory conditions and the age of the population continue to increase and global temperatures continue to rise as a result of climate change, the risk of heat-related respiratory disease is also likely to increase." EurekAlert NEXT ON HEALTH24X Which exercise regimen is best for healthy weight loss in seniors? 2017-11-19 09:30 More: Ageing wellNews advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Fitness 5 things your chiropractor wishes you’d stop doing Fitness Strength train this way for maximum watts Lifestyle This guy took freezing cold showers every day for a week. Here’s what happened Lifestyle Is there really such a thing as a ‘wide-set’ vagina? Lifestyle How masturbating, breathing and 23 other simple habits can make you the healthiest you’ve ever been Fitness SEE: The 6 best types of dogs for runners From our sponsors Fill in our quick and easy survey and stand a chance of winning a R2000 voucher! R2000 Skin Renewal online store voucher up for grabs! Dementia and Incontinence: what you need to know 8 strategies for treating both your bladder problems and your depression Live healthier Would you? » SEE: Smoking triples your risk of developing this disease Vaping leads to 'real' smoking by teens Would you quit smoking for money? Smokers who are offered cash incentives are far more likely to give up cigarettes than those who are simply offered tips on how to quit, a study found. Battle through... » 5 ways to boost your immune system in summer 4 reasons your muscles are cramping up Common cold: should you sweat it out? When you’re feeling sick, what kind of exercise, if any, should you be doing?