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Effects on daily mortality of droughts in Galicia (NW Spain) from 1983 to 2013.

07:00 EST 19th January 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Effects on daily mortality of droughts in Galicia (NW Spain) from 1983 to 2013."

Climate change scenarios indicate an increase in the intensity and frequency of droughts in several regions of the world in the 21st century, especially in Southern Europe, highlighting the threat to global health. For the first time, a time-series diagnostic study has been conducted regarding the impact of droughts in Galicia, a region in north-western Spain, on daily natural-cause mortality, daily circulatory-cause mortality, and daily respiratory-cause mortality, from 1983 to 2013. We analysed the drought periods over the area of interest using the daily Standardized Evapotranspiration-Precipitation Index (SPEI) and the daily Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), obtained at various timescales (1, 3, 6, 9 months), to identify and classify the intensity of drought and non-drought periods. Generalized linear models with the Poisson regression link were used to calculate the Relative Risks (RRs) of different causes of mortality, and the percentage of Attributable Risk Mortality (%AR) was calculated based on RRs data. According to our findings, there were statistically significant (p < 0.05) associations between drought periods, measured by both the daily SPEI and SPI, and daily mortality in all provinces of Galicia (except Pontevedra) for different timescales. Furthermore, drought periods had a greater influence on daily mortality in the interior provinces of Galicia than in the coastal regions, with Lugo being the most affected. In short term, the effect of droughts (along with heatwaves) on daily mortality was observed in interior regions and was mainly explained by atmospheric pollution effect throughout 2000 to 2009 period in Ourense, being respiratory causes of mortality the group most strongly associated. The fact that droughts are likely to become increasingly frequent and intense in the context of climate change and the lack of studies that have considered the impact of droughts on specific causes of mortality make this type of analysis necessary.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: The Science of the total environment
ISSN: 1879-1026
Pages: 121-133

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