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The Korean Journal of Critical Care Medicine > Volume 27(3); 2012 > Article
The Korean Journal of Critical Care Medicine 2012;27(3): 165-172.
doi: https://doi.org/10.4266/kjccm.2012.27.3.165
Relationship of Temperature and Humidity with the Number of Daily Emergency Department Visits for Acute Heart Failure: Results from a Single Institute from 2008-2010
Sang Hyun Ha, Bong Gun Song, Na Kyoung Lee, Chang Shin Choi, Chong Kun Hong, Jun Ho Lee, Seong Youn Hwang
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Samsung Changwon Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Changwon, Korea. schsfc@hanmail.net
2Department of Cardiology, Samsung Changwon Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Changwon, Korea.
3Department of Nursing, Samsung Changwon Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Changwon, Korea.
4Changwon Emergency Medical Information Center, Changwon, Korea.
ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND: The incidence of acute heart failure (AHF) increases in cold weather. Whether or not AHF has seasonal variation in Korea is unclear, and the influence of humidity on AHF incidence is also unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the correlation between the number of daily emergency department (ED) visits for AHF and the temperature and humidity in Korea. METHODS: On a retrospective basis, we investigated the medical records of patients who visited the ED with dyspnea from Jan. 1, 2008 to Dec. 31, 2010. Inclusion criteria comprised both evidence of clinical symptoms and the presence of signs of pulmonary congestion on chest X-rays. Exclusion criteria included a medical history showing end-stage renal disease with dialysis or showing an acute ST elevation myocardial infarction. The number of daily ED visits for AHF was compared with meteorological data after stratifying temperature or humidity into 3 parts. RESULTS: After stratification by humidity, the results revealed that the number of daily ED visits was significantly associated with minimum temperatures occurring one to 2 days prior to ED admission, although only in the lowest tertile of humidity (p = 0.012, p = 0.021, respectively). The relationship between humidity and daily ED visits for AHF was the same as that mentioned above (p = 0.016, p = 0.039, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The number of patients with AHF in Korea increases in cold weather, as is the case in other countries. Specifically, AHF incidence was related to temperature minimums occurring one to 2 days prior to ED admission, as well as with humidity.
Key Words: acute heart failure; climate; humidity
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