Population vulnerability to extreme cold days in rural and urban municipalities in ten provinces in Spain

The objective was to analyze whether there are differences in vulnerability to Extreme Cold Days (ECD) between rural and urban populations in Spain. Time series analysis carried out from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2013. Municipalities with over 10,000 inhabitants were included from 10 Spanish provinces, classified into 42 groups by isoclimate and urban/rural character as defined by Eurostat criteria. The statistical strategy was carried out in two phases. First: It was analyzed the relationship between minimum daily temperature (Tmin) (source: AEMET) and the rate of daily winter mortality due to natural causes -CIE-10: A00 – R99- (source: National Statistics Institute). Then, It was determinated the threshold of Tmin that defines the ECD and its percentile in the series of winter Tmin (Pthreshold), which is a measure of vulnerability to ECD so that the higher the percentile, the higher the vulnerability. Second: possible explanatory variables of vulnerability were explored using Mixed Generalized Models, using 13 independent variables related to meteorology, environment, socioeconomics, demographics and housing quality. The average Pthreshold was 18 %. The final model indicated that for each percentage point increase in unemployment, the vulnerability to ECD increased by 0.4 (0.2, 0.6) points. Also, with each point increase in rurality index, this vulnerability decreased by -6.1 (-2.1, -10.0) points. Although less determinant, other factors that could contribute to explaining vulnerability at the province level included minimum winter daily temperatures and the percentage of housing with poor insulation. The vulnerability to ECD was greater in urban zones than in rural zones. Socioeconomic status is a key to understanding how this vulnerability is distributed. These results suggest the need to implement public health prevention plans to address ECD at the state level. These plans should be based on threshold temperatures determined at the smallest scale possible.

Authors:C. Linares, D. Culqui, G. Sánchez-Martínez, I. J. Mirón, J. A. López-Bueno, J. Díaz, M. A. Navas-Martín, M. Y. Luna
Published year:2022
Content type:Journal article
Orbit ID:b730891c-81de-4fd7-afbb-4905039f984d
Is current:Current
No. of pages:12