Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Australian state has higher rate of hypothermia deaths than Sweden

Date:
February 12, 2014
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
New research shows that the state of South Australia has a higher rate of deaths from extreme cold compared with the northern European nation of Sweden.

New research from the University of Adelaide shows that the state of South Australia has a higher rate of deaths from extreme cold compared with the northern European nation of Sweden.

Related Articles


The study, by a team from the University's School of Medical Sciences, analyzed forensic cases of hypothermia deaths from 2006-2011 in both South Australia and Sweden.

The results show that South Australia had a rate of 3.9 deaths for every 100,000 people, compared with Sweden's 3.3 deaths per 100,000. In total, there were 62 fatal cases of hypothermia in South Australia and 296 cases in Sweden over the six-year period.

"Despite considerable demographic, geographic and climate differences, the death rate from hypothermia was slightly higher in South Australia than in Sweden, which is a very surprising result," says the leader of the project, the University's Professor Roger Byard AO.

Hypothermia is defined as a decrease in core body temperature below 35C, with fatal hypothermia occurring at body temperatures of 26C to 29C.

"Most of the deaths from hypothermia in South Australia involved elderly women indoors who were living alone, often with multiple underlying illnesses and limited contact with the outside world. Many of them had been dead for at least a day before they were discovered," Professor Byard says.

"This is in contrast with the majority of hypothermia deaths in Sweden, which usually occur outdoors and involve middle-aged males, commonly under the influence of alcohol. These bodies are often uncovered from snow drifts.

"The fact that South Australia has a much warmer climate than Sweden, with higher average temperatures and milder winters, does not stop people from being at risk of death from hypothermia. Elderly, socially isolated people are at greatest risk in this state," Professor Byard says.

Medical Sciences PhD student Fiona Bright says descriptions of the houses were not available in the South Australian cases, so the reasons for the higher rates of indoor deaths in SA can only be speculated on.

"In addition to the many underlying medical conditions involved in these cases, it's likely that poor heating and insulation, and lack of energy efficiency, are playing a role here. For example, only 2.6% of Australian homes have double-glazed windows compared with 100% of homes in Finland and Sweden," Ms Bright says.

The results of this research will be published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences later this year.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Australian state has higher rate of hypothermia deaths than Sweden." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212093136.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2014, February 12). Australian state has higher rate of hypothermia deaths than Sweden. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212093136.htm
University of Adelaide. "Australian state has higher rate of hypothermia deaths than Sweden." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212093136.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Buffalo Residents Digging Out, Helping out

Raw: Buffalo Residents Digging Out, Helping out

AP (Nov. 22, 2014) Hundreds of volunteers joined a 'shovel brigade' in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, as the city was living up to its nickname, "The City of Good Neighbors." Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins