Risk of Heat-Related Mortality, Disease, Accident, and Injury Among Korean Workers: A National Representative Study From 2002 to 2015

Author: Jin-Ha Yoon, Won-Tae Lee, Min Joo Yoon, Wanhyung Lee

Year: 2021

Published in: GeoHealth, 5, e2021GH000516. https:// doi.org/10.1029/2021GH000516

Many studies have shown that heat waves can cause both death and disease. Considering the adverse health effects of heat waves on vulnerable groups, this study highlights their impact on workers. The present study thus investigated the association between heat exposure and the likelihood of hospitalization and death, and further identified the risk of heat-related diseases or death according to types of heat and doseresponse modeling with heat threshold. Workers were selected from the Korean National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort 2002–2015, and regional data measured by the Korea Meteorological Administration were used for weather information. The relationship between hospitalization attributable to disease and weather variables was analyzed by applying a generalized additional model. Using the Akaike information criterion, we selected a model that presented the optimal threshold. Maximum daily temperature (MaxT) was associated with an increased risk of death and outdoor mortality. The association between death outdoors and MaxT had a threshold of 31.2°C with a day zero lag effect. History of medical facility visits due to the health effects of heat waves was evident in certain infectious and parasitic diseases (A and B), cardio and cerebrovascular diseases (I20–25 and I60–69), injury, poisoning, and other consequences of external causes (S, T). The study demonstrated that heat exposure is a risk factor for death and infectious, cardio-cerebrovascular, and genitourinary diseases, as well as injuries or accidents among workers. The finding that heat exposure affects workers’ health has future implications for decision makers and researchers.