Heat Waves – An NIEHS Paper of the Year

Jennifer Bobb and Francesca Dominici‘s paper, Causes of hospitalization during heat waves, was recently named one of the top papers funded by the NIEHS in 2015.  The paper reported that, among older adults, heat waves were associated with increased risk of hospitalization for fluid and electrolyte disorders, renal failure, urinary tract infection, sepsis, and heat stroke. Extreme heat is the most common cause of deaths tied to severe weather in the U.S.

They found that older Americans were 2 1/2 times more likely to be hospitalized from heat stroke during heat wave periods than on nonheat wave days. Extreme heat also put the elderly at 18 percent greater risk of being hospitalized for fluid and electrolyte disorders; 14 percent greater risk for renal failure; 10 percent greater risk for urinary tract infections; and 6 percent greater risk for sepsis. The researchers said that sepsis had not been previously considered a possible outcome of extreme heat.

Congratulations to Jennifer and Francesca!