Seasonality of ER admissions in Northwestern Pennsylvania: A cross-sectional study
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Guimaraes, Thais Rafael
Dawson, Rebecca S.
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Seasonality, in the context of emergency room (ER) admissions, can be described as the periodic incidence of disease, corresponding to seasons, or other pre-established calendar periods. Respiratory diseases, in general, show a seasonal pattern with incidence peak at the winter season, however research still presents a considerable amount of inconsistency. Incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is also very well linked to the cold season. Gastrointestinal, genitourinary and neurological diseases are poorly studied in regards their seasonal patterns. This study aimed to assess seasonality of the five categories of diseases–respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and neurological-using data from a community hospital in northwestern PA. We analyzed 14 years (2000-2014) of data from the Meadville Medical Center (MMC) ER admissions. For each ER admission case, we had information about ICD-9 code, sex, insurance, race, age and date, time and year of admission. Statistical analyses were performed using SAS 9.4 University version software. We found significantly fewer cases of respiratory diseases in spring (OR = 0.757), summer (OR = 0.579), and fall (OR = 0.741), when comparing to the winter season; however, seasonal differences were not found for cardiovascular, genitourinary, and neurological diseases. The implications of these results will primarily be used to improve Meadville’s public health policies for cold seasons, and more specifically, implement programs that prepare the ER to receive and treat respiratory cases more efficiently in the cold season.