The Mortality Impact of the August 2003 Heat Wave in France

Magali Barbieri, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

In the Summer of 2003, Europe experienced an unprecedented heat wave to which over 50,000 deaths were directly attributed. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the long term mortality impact of the heat wave in one of the most affected countries, France, where the number of victims reached 15,000. Applying an indirect estimation technique to the monthly number of deaths by sex, age and place of residence for the period 1997-2003, a method that can easily be reproduced in other contexts, we estimate the number of years that would have remained to those who died from the heat wave had they been spared. The paper also evaluates the role of the 2003 heat wave "harvesting" effect in explaining the dramatic deficit of deaths recorded in 2004 (estimated at 25,500 out of a total expected 535,000 deaths).

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Presented in Session 136: Demographic, Health and Economic Consequences of Weather Risk