Methodological innovations in climate change research applied to communicable and non-communicable human diseases
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Western University, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, Rm. 3134, Western Centre for Public Health and Family Medicine, 1465 Richmond Street, London, ON N6G 2M1, Canada
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1889
Several human diseases are often observed in some seasons and specific geographic locations, and it has been suggested that climate change may represent a major contributing factor. Climate change may increase the risk of communicable diseases and exacerbate the burden of chronic illnesses. Climate alterations may interplay with geographic areas and demographic factors, as well as behavioral and social habits. Changes in temperature, rain precipitation, relative humidity, and air pollution may influence viral activity and transmission of respiratory infections especially in infants and elderly.

Objectives and Key Questions:
Our objective is to develop participants knowledge and facilitate discussion in: 1) emerging data and statistical methodologies to investigate the link between climate change and human diseases, 2) how these methodologies have been applied in climatology and public health to date, and 3) how public health practitioners view the potential impact of these new approaches on public health policy and practice.

Brief Overview:
Introduction (10 min), 3 case studies (each 10 min), and discussion (20 min): Brief Introduction (Kandala and Saverio Stranges)The availability of high-quality granular data from multiple sources offer unique platforms for modelling the interactions between the climatic and non-climatic factors on disease burden. For better evidence in public health, evaluating methodological challenges for model-based disease surveillance for forecasting outbreaks will enhance preparedness to the impacts of climate change on human health.Case Study 1: Forecast of Malaria Morbidity and Mortality using Climatic and non-climatic Data (Kandala)Mathematical malaria transmission models are increasingly used for evaluating the effects of control interventions on disease dynamics. However, our knowledge about their forecasting potentials for early warning systems compared to purely statistical models is limited. We discuss spatio-temporal statistical models to forecast malaria; and project future malaria burden based on scenarios driven by climatic and non-climatic factors.Case Study 2: Extreme Ambient Temperature and Cardiovascular-Related Emergency Visits (PIOTR WILK)Extreme ambient temperatures have been found to be associated with cardiovascular health. However, few studies have assesed whether neighbourhood-level factors related to social, built, and natural enviroments moderate this relationship. This study aims to evaluate the associations between short-term variations in outdoor ambient temperatures and cardiovascular-related emergency department (ED) visits in Alberta and Ontario, Canada between 2004-2020 using using gridded data at a 1 km x 1 km spatial resolutionand conditional logistic regression. Findings provide evidence that the impacts of heat on cardiovascular ED visits may be modified by neighbourhood-level risk factors.Case Study 3: Spatial Distribution Of Asthma and its Effect on Marginalized Communities in Canada (Kelachi NSITEM)Marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by communicable and non-communicable diseases, including asthma. Although asthma is a result of both genetic and environmental factors, significant contributors include spatial displacement and disproportionate exposure to pollutants. Using geographic Informational System techniques and population-based data, the connection between traffic and industrial proximity, environmental pollutants, and disproportionate asthma prevalence is supported.Discussion