Prof. Shao Lin

University at Albany, United States

Featured Speech: How climate change, extreme weather, and disasters affect human health in New York State, USA

Biography:

Shao Lin, Professor
Department of Environmental Health Sciences
School of Public Health
University at Albany, State University of New York, United States
slin@albany.edu

Professor Shao Lin is a Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Associate Director for Global Health Research of University at Albany, State University of New York. She has a medical degree and obtained MPH and Ph.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has 30 years of experience in directing research in assessing health impacts of environmental hazards including climate change (CC), extreme weather, air pollution, and man-made/ natural disasters. She served in multiple national committees on developing CC indicators, evaluating heat-stress definitions, and served at the CC Expert Panel to the US Congress. She has outstanding records of publications and external funding.

Abstract:

Introduction: While climate change has become an important public health and society concern, limited epidemiologic studies are available regarding the impacts of extreme weather on reproductive outcomes, and zoonotic diseases. Few research evaluated the health impacts of extreme weather events, natural disasters, and power outage (PO). Few or no translational studies have been done. This presentation will introduce the research findings or activities from multiple projects in New York State (NYS) on evaluating extreme heat, natural disasters, and power outage on multiple health outcomes, and then briefly describe our efforts on research translation.
Methods: We have used case-crossover study to assess the effects of extreme heat on cardiovascular diseases (CVD), respiratory admissions, birth defects, and Lyme diseases. We also used Distributed Lag Non-linear Models (DLNM) to evaluate the impacts of Superstorm Sandy, winter-storm, and PO on multiple health outcomes, after controlling for air pollutants and various time-varying variables.
Results: Extreme heat is related to the increased risks for CVD and respiratory hospitalizations (excessive risks ranged: 1.5% - 2%, P < 0.05) as well as cardiovascular defects (ORs ranged 1.23-1.78, P < 0.05) in NYS. The health risks seem to be higher in transitional season than in summer. After Super-storm Sandy, residents in the affected area had significantly increased risks of CVD, respiratory diseases, and injuries than the control areas (ORs: 1.35-2.64, and the health effects lasted longer (immediately to 1-2 years)). The joint effects of PO and weather events were the largest (RRs: 1.04-1.55), compared to those of weather events or PO alone. Conclusion: We found that extreme heat, extreme weather events such as hurricane/flooding and storms significantly affected multiple diseases, especially during transitional months. The health effects from the PO and weather events are the strongest. The effective strategies to educate general publics and reduce health burdens are needed.Keywords: extreme heat, natural disasters, power outages, health outcomes, research translation

Abstract

Prof. Shao Lin

Introduction: While climate change has become an important public health and society concern, limited epidemiologic studies are available regarding the impacts of extreme weather on reproductive outcomes, and zoonotic diseases. Few research evaluated the health impacts of extreme weather events, natural disasters, and power outage (PO). Few or no translational studies have been done. This presentation will introduce the research findings or activities from multiple projects in New York State (NYS) on evaluating extreme heat, natural disasters, and power outage on multiple health outcomes, and then briefly describe our efforts on research translation.
Methods: We have used case-crossover study to assess the effects of extreme heat on cardiovascular diseases (CVD), respiratory admissions, birth defects, and Lyme diseases. We also used Distributed Lag Non-linear Models (DLNM) to evaluate the impacts of Superstorm Sandy, winter-storm, and PO on multiple health outcomes, after controlling for air pollutants and various time-varying variables.
Results: Extreme heat is related to the increased risks for CVD and respiratory hospitalizations (excessive risks ranged: 1.5% - 2%, P < 0.05) as well as cardiovascular defects (ORs ranged 1.23-1.78, P < 0.05) in NYS. The health risks seem to be higher in transitional season than in summer. After Super-storm Sandy, residents in the affected area had significantly increased risks of CVD, respiratory diseases, and injuries than the control areas (ORs: 1.35-2.64, and the health effects lasted longer (immediately to 1-2 years)). The joint effects of PO and weather events were the largest (RRs: 1.04-1.55), compared to those of weather events or PO alone. Conclusion: We found that extreme heat, extreme weather events such as hurricane/flooding and storms significantly affected multiple diseases, especially during transitional months. The health effects from the PO and weather events are the strongest. The effective strategies to educate general publics and reduce health burdens are needed.Keywords: extreme heat, natural disasters, power outages, health outcomes, research translation