Research description

Investigation of meteorological and air-hygienic influences on the clustered occurrence of acute pathologies in German emergency rooms (MetAir-Acute)

Project start: 2023
Project end: 2024
Project executing organization: Chair of Regional Climate Change and Health
Project responsibility on site: M.Sc. Michael Johler, Prof. Dr. Elke Hertig, Dr. Irena Kaspar-Ott


Climate change poses a serious threat to the human health and the resilience of the health system. The variability and complex multifactorial aspects of climate change complicate the assessment of health-related risk and require new research approaches. A variety of meteorological and air pollution influences correlate with the occurrence or acute worsening of cardiovascular, respiratory, and other diseases. This project focuses on the investigation of the influence of meteorological and air pollution variables on the occurrence of acute pathologies in emergency departments in Germany. Specific weather conditions and their meteorological and air quality characteristics can lead to a clustered occurrence of various acute pathologies. These can occur in a spatially and temporally highly concentrated manner and thus potentially contain a high burden individual clinics and regions.

Two main data sources are used in this study: the case-based hospital statistics (DRG statistics) of the Federal Statistical Office and meteorological variables from the ERA5 reanalysis of the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). Multivariate statistical methods are used to correlate environmental and health data. This is done based on specific regions, which are to be formed via a human biometeorological regionalization of Germany.

Together with the Clinic for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology of the University Hospital Augsburg, the main objective of the research work is defined as follows: The identification of risk constellations and the statistical connection of weather conditions and acute pathologies. From this, models are to be developed with which regional accumulations can be predicted based on measured data. In this way, high clinical demands could be communicated in advance and risk groups could be informed.


Consortium partners:
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology:
•    Dr. Josua Decker
•    PD. Dr. Christian Scheurig-Münkler
•    Prof. Dr. Thomas Kröncke