More Males Than Females Diagnosed With Heat-Related Illnesses
NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Among privately insured individuals receiving medical services, the percentage of patients diagnosed with heat exhaustion increased 52.5 percent when comparing June 2016 to May 2021, This was part of a general trend in which, from May to September, the percentage of patients who were diagnosed with heat stress, heat exhaustion or heatstroke was higher in each month in 2021 than in the corresponding month of 2016. reported in a FAIR Health brief released today, Heat-Related Illness: A Window into Recent Trends,
In the context of other researchers’ projections that rising summer temperatures will be a source of adverse health impacts from climate change, FAIR Health drew on its repository of more than 39 billion private healthcare claim records—the nation’s largest such repository—to analyze recent trends. and patterns in heat-related illnesses the United States, Three types of heat-related illness—in order of increasing severity, heat stress, heat exhaustion and heatstroke—were examined in the period from May through September for the years 2016-2021. Changes in percent of patients diagnosed, as well as their age and gender, were studied for each type of illness. Among the key findings:
- In the months from May through September, the greatest increase in percent of patients diagnosed for heatstroke was 40.1 percent when comparing October 2016 to October 2021, The greatest increase for heat stress was 37.8 percent when comparing May 2016 to June 2021,
- The percentage of patients diagnosed with heat stress, heat exhaustion or heatstroke increased with age, with the greatest percentage found in the age group 65 years and older. Of patients who received medical services nationally in the 65-and-older population, 2.61 percent had a diagnosis of heat exhaustion, 1.93 percent had a diagnosis of heat stress and 0.70 percent had a diagnosis of heatstroke.
- More males than females were diagnosed with the three heat-related illnesses studied. Although the distribution was close for heat stress (males 52 percent, females 48 percent), there was greater gender disparity for heat exhaustion and heatstroke. For each of these diagnoses, males constituted 64 percent and females constituted 36 percent.
- Age was a factor in whether males or females were more likely to be diagnosed with heat stress. In individuals 36 years and older, males were more likely than females to be diagnosed; in individuals 35 years and younger, females were more likely than males to be diagnosed with heat stress. For heat exhaustion and heatstroke, males were more likely than females to be diagnosed in every age group.
- For all three heat-related illnesses studied, the largest disparity between males and females in percentage of diagnoses was in the age group 55 to 64.
FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd stated: “The findings in this report have implications for all healthcare stakeholders concerned with heat-related illnesses, including patients, providers, payors and policy makers. FAIR Health hopes that these findings will also be starting points for further research on heat-related illnesses .”
For the complete brief, click here.
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About FAIR Health
FAIR Health is a national, independent nonprofit organization that qualifies as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code. It is dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information through data products, consumer resources and health systems research support. FAIR Health possesses the nation’s largest collection of private healthcare claims data, which includes over 39 billion claim records and is growing at a rate of over 2 billion claim records a year. FAIR Health licenses its privately billed data and data products—including benchmark modules, data visualizations, custom analytics and market indices—to commercial insurers and self-insurers, employers, providers, hospitals and healthcare systems, government agencies, researchers and others. Certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as a national Qualified Entity, FAIR Health also receives data representing the experience of all individuals enrolled in traditional Medicare Parts A, B and D; FAIR Health includes among the private claims data in its database, data on Medicare Advantage enrollees. FAIR Health can produce insightful analytical reports and data products based on combined Medicare and commercial claims data for government, providers, payers and other authorized users. FAIR Health’s systems for processing and storing protected health information have earned HITRUST CSF certification and achieved AICPA SOC 2 compliance by meeting the rigorous data security requirements of these standards. As a testament to the reliability and objectivity of FAIR Health data, the data have been incorporated into statutes and regulations around the country and designated as the official, neutral data source for a variety of state health programs, including workers’ compensation and personal injury protection (PIP) programs. FAIR Health data serve as an official reference point in support of certain state balance billing laws that protect consumers against surprise bills for out-of-network and emergency services. FAIR Health also uses its database to power a free consumer website available in English and Spanish, which enables consumers to estimate and plan for their healthcare expenditures and offers a rich educational platform on health insurance. An English/Spanish mobile app offers the same educational platform in a concise format and links to the cost estimation tools. The website has been honored by the White House Summit on Smart Disclosure, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), URAC, the eHealthcare Leadership Awards, appPicker, Employee Benefit News and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. FAIR Health is also named a top resource for patients in Dr. Marty Makary’s book The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care—and How to Fix It andDr. Elisabeth Rosenthal’s book An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back, For more information on FAIR Health, visit www.fairhealth.org.
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