Archive | July 4, 2022

New publication: Climate change related catastrophic rainfall events and non-communicable respiratory disease

Our team published a review paper on flooding, hurricanes and catastrophic rainfall events and non-communcable respiratory diseases such as COPD, asthma and chronic bronchitis… today!


Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events, the impacts of which disproportionately impact urban populations. Pluvial flooding and flooding related sewer backups are thought to result in an increase in potentially hazardous human-pathogen encounters. However, the extent and nature of associations between flooding events and non-communicable respiratory diseases such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are not well understood. This research seeks to characterize the state of research on flooding and NCRDs through a systematic review of the scientific literature. We conducted a systematic search of PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus for published scholarly research papers using the terms flooding, monsoon, and tropical storm with terms for common NCRDs such as asthma, COPD, and chronic bronchitis. Papers were included if they covered research studies on individuals with defined outcomes of flooding events. We excluded review papers, case studies, and opinion pieces. We retrieved 200 articles from PubMed, 268 from Web of Science and 203 from Scopus which comprised 345 unique papers. An initial review of abstracts yielded 38 candidate papers. A full text review of each left 16 papers which were included for the review. All papers except for one found a significant association between a severe weather event and increased risk for at least one of the NCRDs included in this research. Our findings further suggest that extreme weather events may worsen pre-existing respiratory conditions and increase the risk of development of asthma. Future work should focus on more precisely defining measure of health outcomes using validated tools to describe asthma and COPD exacerbations. Research efforts should also work to collect granular data on patients’ health status and family history and assess possible confounding and mediating factors such as neighborhood water mitigation infrastructure, housing conditions, pollen counts, and other environmental variables. View Full-Text

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