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Evaluation of thermal discomfort in Athens territory and its effect on the daily number of recorded patients at hospitals' emergency rooms

Pantavou, Katerina, Theoharatos, Georgios, Nikolopoulos, Georgios, Katavoutas, Georgios, Asimakopoulos, Dimosthenis
International journal of biometeorology 2008 v.52 no.8 pp. 773-778
bioclimatology, equations, hospitals, human health, human physiology, humidity, patients, regression analysis, summer, temperature
Previous research has shown that temperature and humidity affect human health. However, only a few studies have examined the association of a biometeorological index, which combines several meteorological parameters and human physiology, with health outcomes. The aim of the present study is to assess the thermal discomfort in Athens city by using the Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) as well as to examine its association with the number of patients recorded at the emergency rooms of four main hospitals. Patients were selected based on their diagnosis during the summer season (June-August) from 1998 to 2004. Data included hourly values of meteorological parameters and daily numbers of patients who visited the emergency units of cardiology departments. Poisson regression models were applied using generalized estimating equations. A strong negative correlation between mean and maximum daily values of PMV and the number of emergency department visits was identified. More studies are needed to explore the association of this biometeorological index with health outcomes in other regions.