Limits...
Neighborhood effects on heat deaths: social and environmental predictors of vulnerability in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Harlan SL, Declet-Barreto JH, Stefanov WL, Petitti DB - Environ. Health Perspect. (2012)

Bottom Line: We estimated neighborhood effects of population characteristics and built and natural environments on deaths due to heat exposure in Maricopa County, Arizona (2000-2008).Neighborhood scores on three factors-socioeconomic vulnerability, elderly/isolation, and unvegetated area-varied widely throughout the study area.The preferred model (based on fit and parsimony) for predicting the odds of one or more deaths from heat exposure within a census block group included the first two factors and surface temperature in residential neighborhoods, holding population size constant.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85284-2402, USA. sharon.harlan@asu.edu

ABSTRACT

Background: Most heat-related deaths occur in cities, and future trends in global climate change and urbanization may amplify this trend. Understanding how neighborhoods affect heat mortality fills an important gap between studies of individual susceptibility to heat and broadly comparative studies of temperature-mortality relationships in cities.

Objectives: We estimated neighborhood effects of population characteristics and built and natural environments on deaths due to heat exposure in Maricopa County, Arizona (2000-2008).

Methods: We used 2000 U.S. Census data and remotely sensed vegetation and land surface temperature to construct indicators of neighborhood vulnerability and a geographic information system to map vulnerability and residential addresses of persons who died from heat exposure in 2,081 census block groups. Binary logistic regression and spatial analysis were used to associate deaths with neighborhoods.

Results: Neighborhood scores on three factors-socioeconomic vulnerability, elderly/isolation, and unvegetated area-varied widely throughout the study area. The preferred model (based on fit and parsimony) for predicting the odds of one or more deaths from heat exposure within a census block group included the first two factors and surface temperature in residential neighborhoods, holding population size constant. Spatial analysis identified clusters of neighborhoods with the highest heat vulnerability scores. A large proportion of deaths occurred among people, including homeless persons, who lived in the inner cores of the largest cities and along an industrial corridor.

Conclusions: Place-based indicators of vulnerability complement analyses of person-level heat risk factors. Surface temperature might be used in Maricopa County to identify the most heat-vulnerable neighborhoods, but more attention to the socioecological complexities of climate adaptation is needed.

Show MeSH

Related in: MedlinePlus

HVI scores (using a method modified from Reid et al. 2009) mapped for 2,081 census block groups (CGBs) in Maricopa County, Arizona. Higher scores represent higher vulnerability. The map inset in the lower right corner indicates the urbanized area of Maricopa County (red box) shown in the larger map. The county, which also contains a much larger area of uninhabited desert and sparse settlement, is outlined in blue. The urbanized area covers all the cities and all but one of the major towns in the county. Residences of only four people who died from heat exposure were located outside the urbanized area (green circles in inset).
© Copyright Policy - public-domain
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3569676&req=5

f1: HVI scores (using a method modified from Reid et al. 2009) mapped for 2,081 census block groups (CGBs) in Maricopa County, Arizona. Higher scores represent higher vulnerability. The map inset in the lower right corner indicates the urbanized area of Maricopa County (red box) shown in the larger map. The county, which also contains a much larger area of uninhabited desert and sparse settlement, is outlined in blue. The urbanized area covers all the cities and all but one of the major towns in the county. Residences of only four people who died from heat exposure were located outside the urbanized area (green circles in inset).

Mentions: The map of metropolitan Phoenix (Figure 1) illustrates HVI integer scores for block groups from lowest to highest vulnerability. Neighborhoods in the inner cores of the two largest cities (Phoenix and Mesa) and along a corridor in the northwestern suburbs (Glendale to Sun City) had the highest scores. Lowest scores were in urban fringe neighborhoods to the east and west of major municipal centers. The distribution of heat deaths (Figure 1) shows that residential neighborhoods of decedents who died from heat exposure were located throughout the metropolitan area, but block groups with two or three deaths were more common in higher vulnerability areas.


Neighborhood effects on heat deaths: social and environmental predictors of vulnerability in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Harlan SL, Declet-Barreto JH, Stefanov WL, Petitti DB - Environ. Health Perspect. (2012)

HVI scores (using a method modified from Reid et al. 2009) mapped for 2,081 census block groups (CGBs) in Maricopa County, Arizona. Higher scores represent higher vulnerability. The map inset in the lower right corner indicates the urbanized area of Maricopa County (red box) shown in the larger map. The county, which also contains a much larger area of uninhabited desert and sparse settlement, is outlined in blue. The urbanized area covers all the cities and all but one of the major towns in the county. Residences of only four people who died from heat exposure were located outside the urbanized area (green circles in inset).
© Copyright Policy - public-domain
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3569676&req=5

f1: HVI scores (using a method modified from Reid et al. 2009) mapped for 2,081 census block groups (CGBs) in Maricopa County, Arizona. Higher scores represent higher vulnerability. The map inset in the lower right corner indicates the urbanized area of Maricopa County (red box) shown in the larger map. The county, which also contains a much larger area of uninhabited desert and sparse settlement, is outlined in blue. The urbanized area covers all the cities and all but one of the major towns in the county. Residences of only four people who died from heat exposure were located outside the urbanized area (green circles in inset).
Mentions: The map of metropolitan Phoenix (Figure 1) illustrates HVI integer scores for block groups from lowest to highest vulnerability. Neighborhoods in the inner cores of the two largest cities (Phoenix and Mesa) and along a corridor in the northwestern suburbs (Glendale to Sun City) had the highest scores. Lowest scores were in urban fringe neighborhoods to the east and west of major municipal centers. The distribution of heat deaths (Figure 1) shows that residential neighborhoods of decedents who died from heat exposure were located throughout the metropolitan area, but block groups with two or three deaths were more common in higher vulnerability areas.

Bottom Line: We estimated neighborhood effects of population characteristics and built and natural environments on deaths due to heat exposure in Maricopa County, Arizona (2000-2008).Neighborhood scores on three factors-socioeconomic vulnerability, elderly/isolation, and unvegetated area-varied widely throughout the study area.The preferred model (based on fit and parsimony) for predicting the odds of one or more deaths from heat exposure within a census block group included the first two factors and surface temperature in residential neighborhoods, holding population size constant.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85284-2402, USA. sharon.harlan@asu.edu

ABSTRACT

Background: Most heat-related deaths occur in cities, and future trends in global climate change and urbanization may amplify this trend. Understanding how neighborhoods affect heat mortality fills an important gap between studies of individual susceptibility to heat and broadly comparative studies of temperature-mortality relationships in cities.

Objectives: We estimated neighborhood effects of population characteristics and built and natural environments on deaths due to heat exposure in Maricopa County, Arizona (2000-2008).

Methods: We used 2000 U.S. Census data and remotely sensed vegetation and land surface temperature to construct indicators of neighborhood vulnerability and a geographic information system to map vulnerability and residential addresses of persons who died from heat exposure in 2,081 census block groups. Binary logistic regression and spatial analysis were used to associate deaths with neighborhoods.

Results: Neighborhood scores on three factors-socioeconomic vulnerability, elderly/isolation, and unvegetated area-varied widely throughout the study area. The preferred model (based on fit and parsimony) for predicting the odds of one or more deaths from heat exposure within a census block group included the first two factors and surface temperature in residential neighborhoods, holding population size constant. Spatial analysis identified clusters of neighborhoods with the highest heat vulnerability scores. A large proportion of deaths occurred among people, including homeless persons, who lived in the inner cores of the largest cities and along an industrial corridor.

Conclusions: Place-based indicators of vulnerability complement analyses of person-level heat risk factors. Surface temperature might be used in Maricopa County to identify the most heat-vulnerable neighborhoods, but more attention to the socioecological complexities of climate adaptation is needed.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus