Objectives: This report examines heat-related mortality, cold-related mortality, and other weather-related mortality during 2006-2010 among subgroups of U.S. residents.
Methods: Weather-related death rates for demographic and area-based subgroups were computed using death certificate information. Adjusted odds ratios for weather-related deaths among subgroups were estimated using logistic regression.
Results and conclusions: During 2006-2010, about 2,000 U.S. residents died each year from weather-related causes of death. About 31% of these deaths were attributed to exposure to excessive natural heat, heat stroke, sun stroke, or all; 63% were attributed to exposure to excessive natural cold, hypothermia, or both; and the remaining 6% were attributed to floods, storms, or lightning. Weather-related death rates varied by age, race and ethnicity, sex, and characteristics of decedent's county of residence (median income, region, and urbanization level). Adjustment for region and urbanization decreased the risk of heat-related mortality among Hispanic persons and increased the risk of cold-related mortality among non-Hispanic black persons, compared with non-Hispanic white persons. Adjustment also increased the risk of heat-related mortality and attenuated the risk of cold-related mortality for counties in the lower three income quartiles. The differentials in weather-related mortality observed among demographic subgroups during 2006-2010 in the United States were consistent with those observed in previous national studies. This study demonstrated that a better understanding of subpopulations at risk from weather-related mortality can be obtained by considering area-based variables (county median household income, region, and urbanization level) when examining weather-related mortality patterns.
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