Impact of heat on emergency hospital admissions related to kidney diseases in Texas: Uncovering racial disparities

Chunyu Guo, Erjia Ge, Manzhu Yu, Changwei Li, Xiangqian Lao, Shuang Li, Jason Glaser, Yongqun He, Marina Almeida-Silva, Sisi Meng, Wei Chung Su, Junfeng Zhang, Shao Lin, Kai Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background and objective: While impact of heat exposure on human health is well-documented, limited research exists on its effect on kidney disease hospital admissions especially in Texas, a state with diverse demographics and a high heat-related death rate. We aimed to explore the link between high temperatures and emergency kidney disease hospital admissions across 12 Texas Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) from 2004 to 2013, considering causes, age groups, and ethnic populations. Methods: To investigate the correlation between high temperatures and emergency hospital admissions, we utilized MSA-level hospital admission and weather data. We employed a Generalized Additive Model to calculate the association specific to each MSA, and then performed a random effects meta-analysis to estimate the overall correlation. Analyses were stratified by age groups, admission causes, and racial/ethnic disparities. Sensitivity analysis involved lag modifications and ozone inclusion in the model. Results: Our analysis found that each 1 °C increase in temperature was associated with a 1.73 % (95 % CI [1.43, 2.03]) increase in hospital admissions related to all types of kidney diseases. Besides, the effect estimates varied across different age groups and specific types of kidney diseases. We observed statistically significant associations between high temperatures and emergency hospital admissions for Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) (3.34 % (95 % CI [2.86, 3.82])), Kidney Stone (1.76 % (95 % CI [0.94, 2.60])), and Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) (1.06 % (95 % CI [0.61, 1.51])). Our research findings indicate disparities in certain Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). In Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas metropolitan areas, the estimated effects are more pronounced for African Americans when compared to the White population. Additionally, in Dallas, Houston, El Paso, and San Antonio, the estimated effects are greater for the Hispanic group compared to the Non-Hispanic group. Conclusions: This study finds a strong link between higher temperatures and kidney disease-related hospital admissions in Texas, especially for AKI. Public health actions are necessary to address these temperature-related health risks, including targeted kidney health initiatives. More research is needed to understand the mechanisms and address health disparities among racial/ethnic groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number168377
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Jan 20 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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