PHEWE - Assessment and Prevention of acute Health Effects of Weather conditions in Europe

Background and Goals

The project investigates and evaluates the acute health effects of the weather conditions in different European countries characterised by different climatic conditions. The information collected will be used for the development of preventive strategies aimed at minimizing adverse health effects in Europe and for the development of guidelines for public health interventions. This will result in heat/health watch warning systems in selected cities to predict and warn of local weather conditions with the potential for negative effects on the health of the residents.

The aim of the project is to achieve a co-operation in the thematic areas of epidemiology and statistics, as well as meteorology and public health. A workshop on the implications of the climate change on public health will be organized together with external experts, in order to determine the need for adapting public health programs.

The following aspects will be dealt with:

  1. Establishing a central European database with meteorological variables and health indicators based on daily input.
  2. Description and comparison of weather conditions in various European regions for selecting meteorological indicators.
  3. Definition of a synoptic weather classification system for different European areas.
  4. Evaluation of the effects of meteorological variables on daily mortality.
  5. Evaluation of the effects of meteorological variables on hospital admissions.
  6. Evaluation of the relationship and synergy between weather conditions and air pollution.

Content time

to

Research area/region

Country
  • Germany
  • Europe
Spatial resolution 

16 European cities (Stockholm, Helsinki, Dublin, London, Barcelona, Paris, Zurich, Turin, Milan, Rome, Athens, Prague, Krakow, Budapest, Bucharest, Ljubljana) will be considered, with a total of 30 million inhabitants.

Steps in the process of adaptation to climate change

Step 1: Understand and describe climate change

Approach and results 

no climate scenario used

Parameters: The following data and parameters will be used:

- Health data: Mortality and hospital admissions statistics for a number of clinical conditions, collected on a daily basis over the years from 1990 to 2000

- Meteorological data, such as air temperature, dew point temperature, wind speed, pressure, cloud cover, solar radiation, precipitation and visibility, measured at the local airports

- Air pollution data (such as sulphur, nitrogen oxides, ozone, carbon monoxide, particulates) collected from air quality monitoring stations

Step 2a: Identify and assess risks - climate effects and impact

Approach and results 

The relationship between meteorological variables, the daily mortality rate and the number of hospital admissions is examined.? For this, in every city, specific synoptic weather categories are identified that are connected with an increase in mortality. Furthermore, the influence of weather and air pollution?variables on morbidity and mortality is analysed.

Step 3: Develop and compare measures

Measures and/or strategies 

Development of preventive strategies aimed at minimizing adverse health effects. Development of guidelines for public health interventions and installation of heat/health watch warning systems in selected cities to predict and warn of local weather conditions with the potential for negative effects on the health of the residents.

Objectives:

- Development of heat/health warning systems (HHWWS) for predicting weather conditions with the potential for causing negative health effects and alerting the public accordingly, as well as the implementation of an HHWWS in five pilot cities

- Determination of adaptation measures for public health in all cities in Europe

- Development of a reference framework for preventive strategies aimed at minimizing adverse health effects in Europe

- Development of guidelines for public health interventions

- Support the implementation of heat / health monitoring systems in European cities

- Publication of the results for politicians, health and environmental scientists, national, regional and local decision makers and the general public.

Participants

Funding / Financing 

European Union

Project management 

Department of Epidemiology, Local Health Authority (Italy)

Cooperation/Partners 

Collaboration in Germany: German Meteorological Service (DWD), altogether 10 other partners in Europe

Contact

Department of Epidemiology, Local Health Authority
Via S. Costanza 53
I-00198 Rom

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Fields of action:
 human health