Objective: As most available biometeorological indexes were developed decades ago in western countries, the benefit of using these indexes to study the effect of weather on human health in modern eastern countries is questionable. This study aimed to reconfirm the effectiveness of applying these biometeorological indexes when analyzing demand for daily emergency ambulance services (EAS) in Taipei. Methods: More than 370,000 EAS usage records were analyzed in this study. The records were first allotted into different time-series data by age, gender, triage level, and case nature (trauma/non-trauma) in order to represent different kinds of daily EAS demand. They were then regressed on biometeorological indexes [Apparent Temperature (AT) and Net Effective Temperature (NET)]; the indexes' additional descriptive power to describe the daily EAS demand over traditional weather factors was then assessed. Results: No significant difference was observed in the descriptive powers in terms of effect on daily EAS demand of the biometeorological indexes and traditional weather factors. The largest improvement on the regression models' adjusted-R2 using NET and AT was only 0.008. Conclusion: It may not be a good idea to make direct use of the biometeorological indexes developed in western countries decades ago. Taiwan should have a tailor-made biometeorological index for a better representation of its unique situation.
- biometeorological index
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health