The costs of respiratory illnesses arising from Florida gulf coast Karenia brevis blooms

Porter Hoagland, Di Jin, Lara Y. Polansky, Barbara Kirkpatrick, Gary Kirkpatrick, Lora E. Fleming, Andrew Reich, Sharon M. Watkins, Steven Ullmann, Lorraine C. Backer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Algal blooms of Karenia brevis, a harmful marine algae, occur almost annually off the west coast of Florida. At high concentrations, K. brevis blooms can cause harm through the release of potent toxins, known as brevetoxins, to the atmosphere. Epidemiologic studies suggest that aerosolized brevetoxins are linked to respiratory illnesses in humans. Objectives: We hypothesized a relationship between K. brevis blooms and respiratory illness visits to hospital emergency departments (EDs) while controlling for environmental factors, disease, and tourism. We sought to use this relationship to estimate the costs of illness associated with aerosolized brevetoxins. Methods: We developed a statistical exposure-response model to express hypotheses about the relationship between respiratory illnesses and bloom events. We estimated the model with data on ED visits, K. brevis cell densities, and measures of pollen, pollutants, respiratory disease, and intra-annual population changes. Results: We found that lagged K. brevis cell counts, low air temperatures, influenza outbreaks, high pollen counts, and tourist visits helped explain the number of respiratory-specific ED diagnoses. The capitalized estimated marginal costs of illness for ED respiratory illnesses associated with K. brevis blooms in Sarasota County, Florida, alone ranged from $0.5 to $4 million, depending on bloom severity. Conclusions: Blooms of K. brevis lead to significant economic impacts. The costs of illness of ED visits are a conservative estimate of the total economic impacts. It will become increasingly necessary to understand the scale of the economic losses associated with K. brevis blooms to make rational choices about appropriate mitigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1239-1243
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume117
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 31 2009

Fingerprint

Cost of Illness
Hospital Emergency Service
Economics
Pollen
Cell Count
Eutrophication
Hospital Departments
Atmosphere
Human Influenza
Disease Outbreaks
Epidemiologic Studies
Air
Temperature
Population
brevetoxin

Keywords

  • Cost of illness
  • Economic impact
  • Emergency department (ED)
  • Harmful algal bloom (HAB)
  • Natural hazard

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Hoagland, P., Jin, D., Polansky, L. Y., Kirkpatrick, B., Kirkpatrick, G., Fleming, L. E., ... Backer, L. C. (2009). The costs of respiratory illnesses arising from Florida gulf coast Karenia brevis blooms. Environmental Health Perspectives, 117(8), 1239-1243. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.0900645

The costs of respiratory illnesses arising from Florida gulf coast Karenia brevis blooms. / Hoagland, Porter; Jin, Di; Polansky, Lara Y.; Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Kirkpatrick, Gary; Fleming, Lora E.; Reich, Andrew; Watkins, Sharon M.; Ullmann, Steven; Backer, Lorraine C.

In: Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 117, No. 8, 31.08.2009, p. 1239-1243.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hoagland, P, Jin, D, Polansky, LY, Kirkpatrick, B, Kirkpatrick, G, Fleming, LE, Reich, A, Watkins, SM, Ullmann, S & Backer, LC 2009, 'The costs of respiratory illnesses arising from Florida gulf coast Karenia brevis blooms', Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 117, no. 8, pp. 1239-1243. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.0900645
Hoagland P, Jin D, Polansky LY, Kirkpatrick B, Kirkpatrick G, Fleming LE et al. The costs of respiratory illnesses arising from Florida gulf coast Karenia brevis blooms. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2009 Aug 31;117(8):1239-1243. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.0900645
Hoagland, Porter ; Jin, Di ; Polansky, Lara Y. ; Kirkpatrick, Barbara ; Kirkpatrick, Gary ; Fleming, Lora E. ; Reich, Andrew ; Watkins, Sharon M. ; Ullmann, Steven ; Backer, Lorraine C. / The costs of respiratory illnesses arising from Florida gulf coast Karenia brevis blooms. In: Environmental Health Perspectives. 2009 ; Vol. 117, No. 8. pp. 1239-1243.
@article{5e9b6ceb8e3a4ac188186123d5232a05,
title = "The costs of respiratory illnesses arising from Florida gulf coast Karenia brevis blooms",
abstract = "Background: Algal blooms of Karenia brevis, a harmful marine algae, occur almost annually off the west coast of Florida. At high concentrations, K. brevis blooms can cause harm through the release of potent toxins, known as brevetoxins, to the atmosphere. Epidemiologic studies suggest that aerosolized brevetoxins are linked to respiratory illnesses in humans. Objectives: We hypothesized a relationship between K. brevis blooms and respiratory illness visits to hospital emergency departments (EDs) while controlling for environmental factors, disease, and tourism. We sought to use this relationship to estimate the costs of illness associated with aerosolized brevetoxins. Methods: We developed a statistical exposure-response model to express hypotheses about the relationship between respiratory illnesses and bloom events. We estimated the model with data on ED visits, K. brevis cell densities, and measures of pollen, pollutants, respiratory disease, and intra-annual population changes. Results: We found that lagged K. brevis cell counts, low air temperatures, influenza outbreaks, high pollen counts, and tourist visits helped explain the number of respiratory-specific ED diagnoses. The capitalized estimated marginal costs of illness for ED respiratory illnesses associated with K. brevis blooms in Sarasota County, Florida, alone ranged from $0.5 to $4 million, depending on bloom severity. Conclusions: Blooms of K. brevis lead to significant economic impacts. The costs of illness of ED visits are a conservative estimate of the total economic impacts. It will become increasingly necessary to understand the scale of the economic losses associated with K. brevis blooms to make rational choices about appropriate mitigation.",
keywords = "Cost of illness, Economic impact, Emergency department (ED), Harmful algal bloom (HAB), Natural hazard",
author = "Porter Hoagland and Di Jin and Polansky, {Lara Y.} and Barbara Kirkpatrick and Gary Kirkpatrick and Fleming, {Lora E.} and Andrew Reich and Watkins, {Sharon M.} and Steven Ullmann and Backer, {Lorraine C.}",
year = "2009",
month = "8",
day = "31",
doi = "10.1289/ehp.0900645",
language = "English",
volume = "117",
pages = "1239--1243",
journal = "Environmental Health Perspectives",
issn = "0091-6765",
publisher = "Public Health Services, US Dept of Health and Human Services",
number = "8",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The costs of respiratory illnesses arising from Florida gulf coast Karenia brevis blooms

AU - Hoagland, Porter

AU - Jin, Di

AU - Polansky, Lara Y.

AU - Kirkpatrick, Barbara

AU - Kirkpatrick, Gary

AU - Fleming, Lora E.

AU - Reich, Andrew

AU - Watkins, Sharon M.

AU - Ullmann, Steven

AU - Backer, Lorraine C.

PY - 2009/8/31

Y1 - 2009/8/31

N2 - Background: Algal blooms of Karenia brevis, a harmful marine algae, occur almost annually off the west coast of Florida. At high concentrations, K. brevis blooms can cause harm through the release of potent toxins, known as brevetoxins, to the atmosphere. Epidemiologic studies suggest that aerosolized brevetoxins are linked to respiratory illnesses in humans. Objectives: We hypothesized a relationship between K. brevis blooms and respiratory illness visits to hospital emergency departments (EDs) while controlling for environmental factors, disease, and tourism. We sought to use this relationship to estimate the costs of illness associated with aerosolized brevetoxins. Methods: We developed a statistical exposure-response model to express hypotheses about the relationship between respiratory illnesses and bloom events. We estimated the model with data on ED visits, K. brevis cell densities, and measures of pollen, pollutants, respiratory disease, and intra-annual population changes. Results: We found that lagged K. brevis cell counts, low air temperatures, influenza outbreaks, high pollen counts, and tourist visits helped explain the number of respiratory-specific ED diagnoses. The capitalized estimated marginal costs of illness for ED respiratory illnesses associated with K. brevis blooms in Sarasota County, Florida, alone ranged from $0.5 to $4 million, depending on bloom severity. Conclusions: Blooms of K. brevis lead to significant economic impacts. The costs of illness of ED visits are a conservative estimate of the total economic impacts. It will become increasingly necessary to understand the scale of the economic losses associated with K. brevis blooms to make rational choices about appropriate mitigation.

AB - Background: Algal blooms of Karenia brevis, a harmful marine algae, occur almost annually off the west coast of Florida. At high concentrations, K. brevis blooms can cause harm through the release of potent toxins, known as brevetoxins, to the atmosphere. Epidemiologic studies suggest that aerosolized brevetoxins are linked to respiratory illnesses in humans. Objectives: We hypothesized a relationship between K. brevis blooms and respiratory illness visits to hospital emergency departments (EDs) while controlling for environmental factors, disease, and tourism. We sought to use this relationship to estimate the costs of illness associated with aerosolized brevetoxins. Methods: We developed a statistical exposure-response model to express hypotheses about the relationship between respiratory illnesses and bloom events. We estimated the model with data on ED visits, K. brevis cell densities, and measures of pollen, pollutants, respiratory disease, and intra-annual population changes. Results: We found that lagged K. brevis cell counts, low air temperatures, influenza outbreaks, high pollen counts, and tourist visits helped explain the number of respiratory-specific ED diagnoses. The capitalized estimated marginal costs of illness for ED respiratory illnesses associated with K. brevis blooms in Sarasota County, Florida, alone ranged from $0.5 to $4 million, depending on bloom severity. Conclusions: Blooms of K. brevis lead to significant economic impacts. The costs of illness of ED visits are a conservative estimate of the total economic impacts. It will become increasingly necessary to understand the scale of the economic losses associated with K. brevis blooms to make rational choices about appropriate mitigation.

KW - Cost of illness

KW - Economic impact

KW - Emergency department (ED)

KW - Harmful algal bloom (HAB)

KW - Natural hazard

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=69249085757&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=69249085757&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1289/ehp.0900645

DO - 10.1289/ehp.0900645

M3 - Article

C2 - 19672403

AN - SCOPUS:69249085757

VL - 117

SP - 1239

EP - 1243

JO - Environmental Health Perspectives

JF - Environmental Health Perspectives

SN - 0091-6765

IS - 8

ER -