Excess winter mortality and morbidity are common in countries with mild climates. Whether home insulation can alleviate the incidence of mortality and morbidity is not clear. This study aims to investigate whether home insulation can reduce cold-related hospital admission rates.
This quasi-experimental retrospective cohort study included a total of 994,317 residents who received an insulation subsidy. The primary outcome of the study was the rate of hospital admission. A difference-in-difference approach was used to compare the rate of hospital admission in the study population. A control population was also included, and relative ratios were used to compare the two groups.
A total of 234,873 hospital admissions occurred during the study period. Upon intervention, the hospitalization rates increased in the intervention and control groups for all categories and populations. The only exception was acute hospital admissions among Pacific Peoples, cardiovascular disease, and ischemic heart disease in adults older than 65 years of age. However, post-intervention increases were significantly lower in the intervention group compared with the control group. The disease-wise analysis showed that the effects were more pronounced for respiratory diseases and ischemic heart disease.
The research concluded that home insulation intervention was associated with a reduced risk of hospital admissions.