Spatial Analysis of Heat-Related Deaths in Maricopa County, Arizona

Authors: Calvin Higgins*, Saint Louis University, Chuyuan Wang, Arizona State University
Topics: Geography and Urban Health
Keywords: heat-related death, Maricopa County, spatio-temporal pattern, demographic characteristics
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Roosevelt 3.5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Maricopa County, Arizona experiences extremely hot temperatures in the summer that can have a negative impact on the health of its residents and visitors. Mortality from environmental heat is therefore a significant public health problem in Maricopa County, especially because it is largely preventable. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of the spatial and temporal patterns, to identify the demographic characteristics, the risk factors, and the full impact of heat-related deaths in Maricopa County. We got heat-related death data between 2012 and 2016 at census tract level from the Maricopa County Department of Public Heath (MCDPH). Analysis results indicate that the occurrence of heat-related death in each year gradually increases from early May, peaks in July and August, and ends in late October. Heat index map is created using air temperature and humidity data collected from local weather stations. It’s found that heat index is highly spatially correlated with the occurrence of heat-related death. Moran’s I analysis of heat-related death shows a significantly clustered pattern. Hot spots of death are therefore identified. Socio-demographic variables that have potential influences on heat-related mortality are also identified using geographically weighted regression analysis.

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