An approach to exploring the effect of weather variations on chronic disease incidence rate and potential changes in future health systems
The ecology and the environment of the world are changing due to the changing patterns of the meteorological factors. Scientific recognition confirms that such variation have already started affecting health and disease prevalence. In England, circulatory system and respiratory diseases are known to have high incidence and mortality rate, especially during the winter. This paper highlights the changing trends of incidence rate of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and some meteorological variables (monthly temperature and total rain) for a selected region (England North) for 1997 to 2004. Zero-inflated Poisson regression model was used to observe whether meteorological variables are significantly related to COPD admissions counts. This can be useful to better understand the factors associated with prevalence rates for specific disease categories. Our preliminary findings support the case for developing advanced methodologies to examine regional disparities in our healthcare system due to weather changes.