Occupation and Environmental Heat-Associated Deaths in Maricopa County, Arizona: A Case-Control Study

Diana B. Petitti, Sharon Harlan, Gerardo Chowell-Puente, Darren Ruddell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background:Prior research shows that work in agriculture and construction/extraction occupations increases the risk of environmental heat-associated death.Purpose:To assess the risk of environmental heat-associated death by occupation.Methods:This was a case-control study. Cases were heat-caused and heat-related deaths occurring from May-October during the period 2002-2009 in Maricopa County, Arizona. Controls were selected at random from non-heat-associated deaths during the same period in Maricopa County. Information on occupation, age, sex, and race-ethnicity was obtained from death certificates. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate odds ratios for heat-associated death.Results:There were 444 cases of heat-associated deaths in adults (18+ years) and 925 adult controls. Of heat-associated deaths, 332 (75%) occurred in men; a construction/extraction or agriculture occupation was described on the death certificate in 115 (35%) of these men. In men, the age-adjusted odds ratios for heat-associated death were 2.32 (95% confidence interval 1.55, 3.48) in association with construction/extraction and 3.50 (95% confidence interval 1.94, 6.32) in association with agriculture occupations. The odds ratio for heat-associated death was 10.17 (95% confidence interval 5.38, 19.23) in men with unknown occupation. In women, the age-adjusted odds ratio for heat-associated death was 6.32 (95% confidence interval 1.48, 27.08) in association with unknown occupation. Men age 65 years and older in agriculture occupations were at especially high risk of heat-associated death.Conclusion:The occurrence of environmental heat-associated death in men in agriculture and construction/extraction occupations in a setting with predictable periods of high summer temperatures presents opportunities for prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere62596
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 29 2013

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case-control studies
Occupations
Case-Control Studies
Hot Temperature
death
heat
Agriculture
odds ratio
Odds Ratio
confidence interval
agriculture
Confidence Intervals
Death Certificates
Regression analysis
nationalities and ethnic groups
Logistics
Logistic Models
Regression Analysis
regression analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Occupation and Environmental Heat-Associated Deaths in Maricopa County, Arizona : A Case-Control Study. / Petitti, Diana B.; Harlan, Sharon; Chowell-Puente, Gerardo; Ruddell, Darren.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 8, No. 5, e62596, 29.05.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Petitti, Diana B. ; Harlan, Sharon ; Chowell-Puente, Gerardo ; Ruddell, Darren. / Occupation and Environmental Heat-Associated Deaths in Maricopa County, Arizona : A Case-Control Study. In: PLoS One. 2013 ; Vol. 8, No. 5.
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abstract = "Background:Prior research shows that work in agriculture and construction/extraction occupations increases the risk of environmental heat-associated death.Purpose:To assess the risk of environmental heat-associated death by occupation.Methods:This was a case-control study. Cases were heat-caused and heat-related deaths occurring from May-October during the period 2002-2009 in Maricopa County, Arizona. Controls were selected at random from non-heat-associated deaths during the same period in Maricopa County. Information on occupation, age, sex, and race-ethnicity was obtained from death certificates. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate odds ratios for heat-associated death.Results:There were 444 cases of heat-associated deaths in adults (18+ years) and 925 adult controls. Of heat-associated deaths, 332 (75{\%}) occurred in men; a construction/extraction or agriculture occupation was described on the death certificate in 115 (35{\%}) of these men. In men, the age-adjusted odds ratios for heat-associated death were 2.32 (95{\%} confidence interval 1.55, 3.48) in association with construction/extraction and 3.50 (95{\%} confidence interval 1.94, 6.32) in association with agriculture occupations. The odds ratio for heat-associated death was 10.17 (95{\%} confidence interval 5.38, 19.23) in men with unknown occupation. In women, the age-adjusted odds ratio for heat-associated death was 6.32 (95{\%} confidence interval 1.48, 27.08) in association with unknown occupation. Men age 65 years and older in agriculture occupations were at especially high risk of heat-associated death.Conclusion:The occurrence of environmental heat-associated death in men in agriculture and construction/extraction occupations in a setting with predictable periods of high summer temperatures presents opportunities for prevention.",
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