Exploring Strategies for Investigating the Underlying Mechanisms Linking Climate and Child Health

Kathryn Grace, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Andrew Verdin, Institute of Social Research and Data Innovation, University of Minnesota
Frank Davenport, University of California, Santa Barbara
Greg Husak, University of California, Santa Barbara
Chris Funk, University of California, Santa Barbara

The goal of this paper is to isolate and examine the differential pathways that connect climate/weather variability to child health outcomes. This goal will be accomplished through the application of climate indicators designed to capture the complexities of different climate related risks and isolate their impacts based the timing and duration of exposure. Specifically, we focus on infant birthweight with attention to local weather conditions and climate extremes associated with the three most frequently posited potential drivers of adverse health outcomes: heat stress, malaria, and food insecurity. We focus this study on Mali where seasonal trends facilitate the use of different measures to capture different aspects of climate/weather. Results indicate that measures of heat stress and malaria have different impacts on birthweight outcomes that vary according to exposure timing. Results also indicate that measures of food insecurity are consistently associated with lower birth weights.

See paper.

  Presented in Session 46. Climate Change, Environment and Population Health