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70 to 79
80 to 89
Te mperature
90 to 99
Figure 16.2
Percentage of heat-related emergency department admissions identified in the NC DETECT
data among men aged 18 to 64 by temperature, January 1, 2006, to August 29, 2007.
However, when Roberts looked at it, the NC DETECT data told a different
story. Rather than seeing a spike in the number of children and the elderly
succumbing to the heat, the data revealed that working-age men were most
at risk.
In 2007, men aged 18 to 64 comprised approximately 28% of the North
Carolina population. If men in this age category were really at normal or lower
risk of heat-related injuries, then it would follow that they would comprise a
smaller percentage of the heat-related ED admissions than their proportion
of the population, but that was not what the NC DETECT data indicated. In
August 2007, men aged 18 to 64 were responsible for more than 62% of ED vis-
its for heat, more than double the amount expected if they were at normal risk
(U.S. Census Bureau 2009a, 2009b). In contrast, the groups thought to be at the
highest risk for heat-related illness were in fact disproportionately underrep-
resented. Children aged 0 to 4 comprised 7% of North Carolina's population
but contributed only 1.5% of the heat-related admissions in August. Similarly,
adults aged 65 and older comprised 12% of North Carolina's population but
contributed only 9% of the heat-related admissions.
The NC DETECT data also indicated a dose response between the heat
and the risk for working-age men; as the temperatures grew warmer, the risk
among working-age men grew more extreme (Figure 16.2). Between January
1, 2006, and August 29, 2007, excluding fire-related injuries, an estimated 727
ED visits for heat-related causes were reported to the NC DETECT system.
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