• Bibtex: @lee2023
  • Bibliography: Lee, M. J., McLean, K. E., Kuo, M., Richardson, G. R. A., & Henderson, S. B. (2023). Chronic Diseases Associated With Mortality in British Columbia, Canada During the 2021 Western North America Extreme Heat Event. GeoHealth, 7(3), e2022GH000729. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022GH000729

Example citation

Schizophrenia is deadlier than any other chronic disease during extreme heat waves

My notes

  • Schizophrenia was associated with a much higher mortality rate during the extreme heat wave in Canada 2021, OR = 3.07 (95% CI 2.39 to 3.94).
    • The risk was more pronounced than for heart disease, kidney disease etc.


Western North America experienced an unprecedented extreme heat event (EHE) in 2021, characterized by high temperatures and reduced air quality. There were approximately 740 excess deaths during the EHE in the province of British Columbia, making it one of the deadliest weather events in Canadian history. It is important to understand who is at risk of death during EHEs so that appropriate public health interventions can be developed. This study compares 1,614 deaths from 25 June to 02 July 2021 with 6,524 deaths on the same dates from 2012 to 2020 to examine differences in the prevalence of 26 chronic diseases between the two groups. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) for each chronic disease, adjusted for age, sex, and all other diseases, and conditioned on geographic area. The OR [95% confidence interval] for schizophrenia among all EHE deaths was 3.07 [2.39, 3.94], and was larger than the ORs for other conditions. Chronic kidney disease and ischemic heart disease were also significantly increased among all EHE deaths, with ORs of 1.36 [1.18, 1.56] and 1.18 [1.00, 1.38], respectively. Chronic diseases associated with EHE mortality were somewhat different for deaths attributed to extreme heat, deaths with an unknown/pending cause, and non-heat-related deaths. Schizophrenia was the only condition associated with significantly increased odds of EHE mortality in all three subgroups. These results confirm the role of mental illness in EHE risk and provide further impetus for interventions that target specific groups of high-risk individuals based on underlying chronic conditions. PDF: lee_2023_chronic_diseases_associated_with_mortality_in_british_columbia,_canada_during.pdf