The incidence of gastrointestinal disease increases with heat and cold

The incidence of gastrointestinal disease increases with heat and cold

News from ISGlobal

Heat increases the number of gastroenteritis-related hospital admissions by 21%, while cold increases them by 7%. A new study performed by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) analysed for the first time the association between climate and hospitalisations due to the infection over a 17 year-period in Spain.

Diarrheal diseases, although preventable and treatable, are the second leading global cause of death among children under five years of age. In 2015, 1,31 million people worldwide died from gastroenteritis.

To date, few studies have addressed the association between climate factors- temperature and rain- and gastrointestinal disease incidence in high-income countries. In most cases, heat and heavy rainfall were associated with an increase in infections.

The aim of this study, published in Environment International, was to evaluate the association between meteorological variables and gastroenteritis hospitalisations in Spain - between 1997 and 2013, 275,182 cases were registered, with an average of 44 cases per day.

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ISGlobal news

Clara Morral-Puigmal, Èrica Martínez-Solanas, Cristina M. Villanueva, Xavier Basagaña. Weather and gastrointestinal disease in Spain: A retrospective time series regression study. Environment International. Octubre 2018