2010 to 2020 saw number of heat days up in Arizona counties

According to research published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s June 17 issue, the number of heat days in Arizona’s Maricopa and Yuma Counties increased between 2010 and 2020. Heat-related illness (HRI), increased more in people 65 and older than those younger than 65. Weekly Report on Morbidity and Mortality

Evan Mallen, Ph.D. from the CDC, Atlanta, and his colleagues looked at trends in HRIs based on age between 2010 and 2020 for Maricopa County and Yuma County. They also reviewed data regarding cooling center availability and usage in Yuma County between 2018 and 2019, based upon a survey of older adults.

Researchers found that there was an increase in heat days (defined as days with an excessive heat alert issued by the National Weather Service Phoenix Office) in Maricopa County, Yuma County, and Yuma County between 2010 and 2020 (1.18 and 1.71 days respectively per year). Adults 65 and older were hospitalized more often than those younger than 65. Surveyed were 39 people aged 65 and over in Yuma County. 44 percent reported having recently experienced HRI symptoms, while 18 percent reported that the price of electricity sometimes or always restricted their use of air conditioners. Access to cooling centers was a problem for older adults due to lack of awareness about transportation and location.

The authors write that a comprehensive system of heat mitigation planning, response through both behavioral as infrastructural intervention, can increase heat resilience and protect communities that are disproportionately affected during high temperatures.

Extreme heat tied to higher all-cause mortality

More information:
Evan Mallen et al, Extreme Heat Exposure: Access and Barriers to Cooling Centers—Maricopa and Yuma Counties, Arizona, 2010–2020, MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2022). DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7124a1

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The Arizona counties saw a lot of heat days in 2010 and 2020 (2022, June 17).
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