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REPORT: A Cross-Sectional, Randomized Cluster Sample Survey of Household Vulnerability to Extreme Heat among Slum Dwellers in Ahmedabad, India

Extreme heat is a significant public health concern in India; extreme heat hazards are projected to increase in frequency and severity with climate change. Few of the factors driving population heat vulnerability are documented, though poverty is a presumed risk factor. To facilitate public health preparedness, an assessment of factors affecting vulnerability among slum dwellers was conducted in summer 2011 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Indicators of heat exposure, susceptibility to heat illness, and adaptive capacity, all of which feed into heat vulnerability, was assessed through a cross-sectional household survey using randomized multistage cluster sampling. Associations between heat-related morbidity and vulnerability factors were identified using multivariate logistic regression with generalized estimating equations to account for clustering effects. Age, preexisting medical conditions, work location, and access to health information and resources were associated with self-reported heat illness. Several of these variables were unique to this study.

This study, A Cross-Sectional, Randomized Cluster Sample Survey of Household Vulnerability to Extreme Heat among Slum Dwellers in Ahmedabad, India uses randomized cluster sampling of the residents of informal settlements in Ahmedabad, India. The aim was to evaluate factors potentially associated with vulnerability to heat, a prevalent concern that is expected to worsen with climate change. The study is part of the CDKN-funded project, Climate change: addressing heat-health vulnerability in rapidly urbanising regions of Western India, which seeks to address heat-related vulnerability in Ahmedabad, India.

For further reading on Ahmedabad’s heat action plan, see below: