|HPM doctoral student authors article in American Journal of Public Health|
Amy Wolkin, MSPH, doctoral student in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health's Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership and lead for the Epidemiology and Response Team for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta authored an article in the March issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
The article, "Exposure to Natural Cold and Heat: Hypothermia and Hyperthermia Medicare Claims, United States, 2004-2005," measured the burden of hypothermia- and hyperthermia-related health care visits, identified risk factors, and determined the health care costs associated with environmental heat or cold exposure among Medicare beneficiaries.
This article highlighted the magnitude of these preventable conditions among older adults and disabled persons and the burden on the Medicare system. These results can help target public education and preparedness activities for extreme weather events.
"We found the most vulnerable population was those older than 85 years and there was a higher frequency of hyperthermia-related visits compared to hypothermia; however, hypothermia-related visits were more costly and resulted in more deaths," said Wolkin.
The study took several years from data collection to publication. Wolkin learned a lot as the senior scientist involved in this study.
"This study highlights the magnitude of these preventable conditions among older adults," Wolkin said. "The relationship between age and the impact of weather is of particular concern to public health because of the aging U.S. population and potential increase of extreme weather events associated with climate change."
An abstract of the article is available online. Co-authors include Rebecca S. Noe, MN, MPH and Jill O. Jin, MD, MPH.
Wolkin is scheduled to complete her Doctor of Public Health degree in July 2014.
|Last updated August 15, 2012|