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ISSN: 2329-9088

Tropical Medicine & Surgery
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Research Article

The Role of Thermal Stress on CHF Admissions in a Tropical Climate

Balaji Rajathilakam1, Jeffrey H Luk2*, Vijay Anand Palaniswamy1 and John R Allegra3

1Sundaram Medical Foundation Hospital, Chennai, Southern India

2University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA

3Morristown Memorial Hospital Residency in Emergency Medicine, Morristown, NJ, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Jeffrey H. Luk
University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Department of Emergency Medicine
Cleveland, OH, USA
Tel: 1-732-754-5779
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: September 30, 2013; Accepted Date: October 10, 2013; Published Date: October 15, 2013

Citation: Rajathilakam B, Luk JH, Palaniswamy VA, Allegra JR (2013) The Role of Thermal Stress on CHF Admissions in a Tropical Climate. Trop Med Surg 1:145. doi: 10.4172/2329-9088.1000145

Copyright: © 2013 Rajathilakam B, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objectives: A previous study of emergency department visits for Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) to hospitals in New Jersey revealed a marked increase in the colder months. This was attributed in part to increased demands on the heart in response to cold weather. We speculated that the extreme high temperatures in the tropics would place a similar additional burden on the heart. Therefore, we hypothesized an increase in the number of hospital admissions for CHF during the warmest months in the tropics. Methods: Design: Retrospective cohort. Setting: Community hospital in Chennai, Southern India. Participants: All patients ages 15 and older admitted to the hospital from January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2004. Protocol: We examined all hospital inpatient discharge diagnoses and selected those for CHF. We analyzed the data by month, testing for statistical significance using Chi Square and Student's t tests with alpha set at 0.05. Results: Of the 6,800 total hospital medical admissions, there were 513 admissions for CHF. Of the CHF visits, 46% were female and the average age was 66 ± 12 years. The four coldest months (average temperature = 29oC) had 1.46 (95% CI 1.12-1.79, p=0.015) times more visits than the four warmest months (average temperature = 37oC). Conclusion: Contrary to our hypothesis, we found a statistically significant decrease in CHF visits in the warmer months. We speculate that the additional burden imposed by thermal stress on the heart may be more than offset by the vasodilatory effect of high ambient temperatures.


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