Impact of heat on emergency hospital admission in Texas: geographic and racial/ethnic disparities

Chunyu Guo, Erjia Ge, Sungmin Lee, Yongmei Lu, Nick P. Bassill, Nanhua Zhang, Wei Zhang, Yi Lu, Yuqing Hu, Jayajit Chakraborty, Rebecca T. Emeny, Kai Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Studies exploring the racial/ethnicity disparity of the impact of heat on hospital admission are notably limited, especially in Texas, a state with a diverse population and consistently ranking among the top ten U.S. states for heat-related deaths per capita from 2018 to 2020. Objective: Our objective is to determine the correlation between elevated temperatures and emergency hospital admissions for various causes and age groups across 12 Metropolitan Statistical Areas(MSAs) in Texas. Additionally, we aim to investigate health inequalities in the five largest MSAs in Texas between 2004 and 2013. Methods: We used MSA-level hospital admission and weather data to estimate the relationship between heat and emergency hospital admissions. We applied a Generalized Additive Model and random effects meta-analysis to calculate MSA-specific associations and overall correlation, repeating the analysis for age groups and specific causes of admission. We also investigated health disparities across racial and ethnic groups and performed a sensitivity analysis. Results: The results showed that a 1 °C increase in temperature was associated with a 0.50% (95% CI [0.38%, 0.63%]) increase in all-cause emergency hospital admissions. Heat’s impact on hospital admissions varied among age groups and causes, with children under 6 years showing the highest effect estimate (0.64% (95% CI [0.32%,0.96%])). Statistically significant associations were found for Cardiovascular Diseases (0.27% (95% CI [0.07%,0.47%])), Ischemic Heart Diseases (0.53% (95% CI [0.15%,0.92%])), Pneumonia (0.70% (95% CI [0.25%,1.16%])), and Respiratory Diseases (0.67% (95% CI [0.18%,1.17%])). Health disparities were found among racial and ethnic groups in the five largest MSAs. Impact statement: Studies exploring the impact of heat on hospital admission in Texas are notably limited. Our research provided a comprehensive examination of the connection between heat and emergency hospital admissions throughout Texas. Furthermore, we are the first to examine racial/ethnic disparities, identifying African American and Hispanic groups as disproportionately affected. These insights provide valuable insights for policymakers to allocate resources and implement strategies to mitigate the negative consequences of rising temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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