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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2515-2543; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062515

A Cross-Sectional, Randomized Cluster Sample Survey of Household Vulnerability to Extreme Heat among Slum Dwellers in Ahmedabad, India

1 Department of Environmental Health, Emory University School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA 2 Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar, Gujarat 380054, India 3 Ahmedabad Heat and Climate Study Group, Gandhinagar, Gujarat 380054, India 4 Natural Resources Defense Council, New York, NY 10011, USA 5 Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA 6 Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 May 2013 / Revised: 5 June 2013 / Accepted: 7 June 2013 / Published: 18 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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Extreme heat is a significant public health concern in India; extreme heat hazards are projected to increase in frequency and severity with climate change. Few of the factors driving population heat vulnerability are documented, though poverty is a presumed risk factor. To facilitate public health preparedness, an assessment of factors affecting vulnerability among slum dwellers was conducted in summer 2011 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Indicators of heat exposure, susceptibility to heat illness, and adaptive capacity, all of which feed into heat vulnerability, was assessed through a cross-sectional household survey using randomized multistage cluster sampling. Associations between heat-related morbidity and vulnerability factors were identified using multivariate logistic regression with generalized estimating equations to account for clustering effects. Age, preexisting medical conditions, work location, and access to health information and resources were associated with self-reported heat illness. Several of these variables were unique to this study. As sociodemographics, occupational heat exposure, and access to resources were shown to increase vulnerability, future interventions (e.g., health education) might target specific populations among Ahmedabad urban slum dwellers to reduce vulnerability to extreme heat. Surveillance and evaluations of future interventions may also be worthwhile.
Keywords: heat; climate change; India; vulnerability heat; climate change; India; vulnerability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Tran, K.V.; Azhar, G.S.; Nair, R.; Knowlton, K.; Jaiswal, A.; Sheffield, P.; Mavalankar, D.; Hess, J. A Cross-Sectional, Randomized Cluster Sample Survey of Household Vulnerability to Extreme Heat among Slum Dwellers in Ahmedabad, India. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 2515-2543.

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