WEDNESDAY, Aug. 31, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Hot and humid weather is associated with an increased risk for mental disorder (MD)-related emergency department visits, according to a study published in the September issue of Environment International.

Xinlei Deng, Ph.D., from the State University of New York in Rensselaer, and colleagues conducted a case-crossover study to examine whether multiple meteorological factors could trigger MD-related emergency department visits using data from May to October 2017 to 2018. Solar radiation (SR), relative humidity (RH), temperature, heat index (HI), and rainfall were obtained from a real-time monitoring system.

The researchers found that both SR and RH showed the largest risk for MD-related emergency department visits at lag zero to nine days for each interquartile range increase (excess risk, 4.9 and 4.0 percent, respectively). A short-term risk was seen for temperature (highest excess risk at lag zero to two days, 3.7 percent). Increased risk was seen over a two-week period for HI (excess risk range, 3.7 to 4.5 percent), while an inverse association was seen for rainfall hours with MDs (excess risk, −0.5 percent). In September and October, stronger associations were seen for SR, RH, temperature, and HI. The largest increase in MDs was seen for the combination of high SR, RH, and temperature (excess risk, 7.49 percent). The investigators observed a stronger weather-MD association for psychoactive substance usage, mood disorders, adult behavior disorders, males, Hispanics, African Americans, individuals aged 46 to 65 years, and Medicare patients.

“For people with mental disorders, changes in multiple weather factors can provoke symptoms that pose serious health risks,” Deng said in a statement.

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