Patient-related factors associated with severe heat-related illnesses in Karachi: A hospital perspective

Saima Kanwal, Sara Sajid, Noreen Nasir, Syed Ahsan, Aysha Almas

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In 2015, Karachi saw its first ever epidemic of severe heat-related illnesses that resulted in an extraordinary number of hospital admissions, especially in the intensive care, for fatal heat stroke within-hospital mortality of 3.7%.We conducted this study to elucidate the patient-related factors that lead to an increase in hospital admissions with heat-related illnesses in a tertiary care hospital. It was a descriptive case series conducted in the department of medicine at the Aga Khan University in June 2015. A total of 134 patients were admitted with heat-related illnesses of which 76(56.7%) were males. The mean age of the patients was 66 ±14.5 years. Heatstroke was present in 86 (64.2%) patients, followed by heat exhaustion in 48 (35.8%) and in-hospital mortality from heat-related illnesses was 5(3.7%). Hypertension (OR 2(95 % CI 1.0, 3.6) and insufficient sleep or food or water intake (OR 1.7(95 % CI 0.8, 3.8) was associated with severe heat-related illnesses. The effects remained even after adjusting for type and area of residence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2260-2262
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Altered mental state
  • Heat cramps
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat stroke
  • Heat syncope
  • Karachi heat waves


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