Cold-related illness hospitalizations

Cold-related illness hospitalizations in Minnesota:

Hospitalizations represent the most severe cases of cold-related illness. People are hospitalized for cold-related illness due to extreme symptoms, including hypothermia, and complications from other health conditions.

The elderly and young children are more sensitive to the cold and may need more care and monitoring to recover from cold-related illness. Hospitalizations due to cold exposure are sometimes not coded as cold-related leading to underestimated counts of hospitalizations from the effects of cold.


Cold-related illness hospitalizations and average winter temperature (October-April)

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Source: Minnesota Hospital Association. Average winter temperature data source:   Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Climate Trends. The break indicates a change in International Classification of Disease (ICD) coding from ICD-9 to ICD-10 on October 1st, 2015. Rates from 2000-2014 should not be compared to rates from 2015 onward.

Average winter temperature and hospitalization rates vary from year to year. While lower winter temperatures may be associated with higher hospitalization rates for cold-related illness, there are many other factors that may impact rates of cold-related illness.


Cold-related illness hospitalizations in Minnesota

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Source: Minnesota Hospital Association. The break indicates a change in International Classification of Disease (ICD) coding from ICD-9 to ICD-10 on October 1st, 2015. Rates from 2000-2014 should not be compared to rates from 2015 onward.

While the number and rate of cold-related illness hospitalizations vary from year to year, the overall trend shows an increase in cold-related illness hospitalizations from 2000-2014 and 2015 to 2018.


Cold-related illness hospitalizations in Minnesota, by sex

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Source: Minnesota Hospital Association. The break indicates a change in International Classification of Disease (ICD) coding from ICD-9 to ICD-10 on October 1st, 2015. Rates from 2000-2014 should not be compared to rates from 2015 onward.

Overall, more males are hospitalized for cold-related illness than females. In 2018, males were hospitalized at more than three times the rate as females.


Cold-related illness hospitalizations in Minnesota, by age and sex

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Source: Minnesota Hospital Association. 2014-2018.

In general, males over 15 years are more likely to be hospitalized for cold-related illness than females. This chart also shows that males age 35 years and older have the highest rates of hospitalizations for cold-related illness. This differs from ED visit data, where males age 15 to 34 have the highest rate of cold-related illness ED visits, potentially indicating less severe illness so they can be treated and released from the ED.

 

Related topics

Climate-related environmental health concerns 

Heat-related illness 

Carbon monoxide poisoning

 

Updated February 2021. Topic is updated when data become available.