Association between weather conditions and the number of patients at the emergency room in an Argentine hospital

Int J Biometeorol. 2002 Feb;46(1):42-51. doi: 10.1007/s00484-001-0113-z.


The aim of this paper is to study the relationships between hospital emergencies and weather conditions by analysing summer and winter cases of patients requiring attention at the emergency room of a hospital in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Hospital data have been sorted into seven different diagnostic groups as follows: (1) respiratory, cardiovascular and chest-pain complaints; (2) digestive, genitourinary and abdominal complaints; (3) neurological and psychopathological disorders; (4) infections; (5) contusion and crushing, bone and muscle complaints; (6) skin and allergies and (7) miscellaneous complaints. In general, there is an increase of 16.7% in winter while, for group 2 and group 6, there are more patients in summer, 54% and 75% respectively. In summer, the total number of patients for group 6 shows a significant positive correlation with temperature and dew-point temperature, and a negative correlation with the sea-level pressure for the same day. In winter, the same relationship exists, however its correlation is not as strong. The lags observed between these three variables: maximum dew-point temperature, maximum temperature, minimum air pressure and the peaks in admissions are 1, 2 and 4 days respectively. In winter, increases in temperature and dew point and decreases in pressure are followed by a peak in admissions for group 2. In winter, there are significantly more cases in group 5 on warm, dry days and on warm, wet days in the summer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Argentina / epidemiology
  • Atmospheric Pressure
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Seasons
  • Temperature
  • Weather*