The Hospitalizations for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Conditions, Emergency Department Presentations and Economic Burden of Bushfires in Australia Between 2021 and 2030: A Modelling Study

Zanfina Ademi, Ella Zomer, Clara Marquina, Peter Lee, Stella Talic, Yuming Guo, Danny Liew

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The health and environmental impacts of bushfires results in substantial economic costs to society. The present analysis sought to estimate the burden of bushfires in Australia over 10 years from 2021 to 2030 inclusive. A dynamic model with yearly cycles was constructed to simulate follow-up of the entire Australian population from 2021 to 2030, capturing deaths and years of life lived. Estimated numbers of bushfire-related-deaths, costs of related-hospitalizations, and broader economic costs were derived from published sources. A 5% annual discount rate was applied to all costs incurred and life years lived from 2022 onwards. Over the 10 years from 2021 to 2030, the modelled analysis predicted that 2418 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2412 - 2422] lives would be lost to bushfires, as well as 8590 [95% CI 8573 - 8606] years of life lost (discounted). Healthcare costs arising from deaths for smoke-related conditions, hospitalizations amounted to AUD $110 million [95% CI 91-129 million] (discounted). The impact on gross domestic product (GDP) totaled AUD $17.2 billion. A hypothetical intervention that reduces the impact of bushfires by 10% would save $11 million in healthcare costs and $1.9 billion in GDP. The health and economic burden of bushfires in Australia looms large during 2021 and 2030. This underscores the importance of actions to mitigate bushfire risk. The findings are useful for the future design and delivery and help policy makers to make informed decisions about investment in strategies to reduce the incidence and severity of future bushfires.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101416
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Problems in Cardiology
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

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