Mortality–temperature thresholds for ten major population centres in rural Victoria, Australia

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Mortality–temperature relationships in small regional towns in Victoria, Australia, were used to ascertain whether the effects of high ambient temperatures documented in the literature for major population centres in Europe and America are also noted in small rural communities in Australia. The establishment of threshold temperatures in all major rural regions of Victoria indicate that hot weather results in an increase in mortality in persons aged 65 years and older. This adds considerable strength to the argument that human populations are vulnerable to heat events regardless of location. Heat alerts can be issued through local health and welfare agencies, to increase awareness of ‘hot’ weather as a health hazard for elderly people by providing education campaigns involving local authorities based on these simple thresholds.

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