reference : Health impact in New York City during the Northeastern blackout of 2003

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Bibliographic fields
reftype Journal Article
Abstract OBJECTIVE: This study assessed the health effects of the 2003 Northeastern blackout, the largest one in history, on mortality and hospital admissions due to respiratory, cardiovascular, and renal diseases in New York City (NYC), and compared the disease patterns and sociodemographic profiles of cases during the blackout with those on control days. METHOD: We investigated the effects of the blackout on health using incidence rate ratios to compare the disease on blackout days (August 14 and 15, 2003) with those on normal and comparably hot days (controls). Normal days were defined as summer days (June-August) between the 25th and 75th percentiles of maximum temperature during 1991-2004. Comparably hot days were days with maximum temperatures in the same range as that of the blackout days. We evaluated the interactive effects of demographics and the blackout using a case-only design. RESULTS: We found that mortality and respiratory hospital admissions in NYC increased significantly (two- to eightfold) during the blackout, but cardiovascular and renal hospitalizations did not. The most striking increases occurred among elderly, female, and chronic bronchitis admissions. We identified stronger effects during the blackout than on comparably hot days. In contrast to the pattern observed for comparably hot days, higher socioeconomic status groups were more likely to be hospitalized during the blackout. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that power outages may have important health impacts, even stronger than the effects of heat alone. The findings provide some direction for future emergency planning and public health preparedness.
Author Lin, S.; Fletcher, B. A.; Luo, M.; Chinery, R.; Hwang, S-. A.
Author Address New York State Department of Health, Center for Environmental Health, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, 547 River St., Room 200, Troy, NY 12180-2216, USA.
DOI 10.1177/003335491112600312
Date May-Jun
ISSN 1468-2877
Issue 3
Journal Public Health Reports
Keywords Climate; Disaster Planning; *Electricity; Female; Hospitalization/*statistics & numerical data; Humans; Male; New York City/epidemiology; Poisson Distribution; Respiratory Tract Diseases/*epidemiology; Risk Factors; Seasons; Socioeconomic Factors
PMC 3072860
PMCID PMC3072860
Pages 384-93
Title Health impact in New York City during the Northeastern blackout of 2003
Volume 126
Year 2011
Bibliographic identifiers
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_chapter Ch7
_record_number 16321
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