The study shows that the relative risk (RR) of the increase in dengue incidence due to population growth over the study period was over 40, while the climate variables explained a relative risk of just over 7. Population growth is therefore said to explain 86 per cent of the dramatic increase in dengue in the area, while 14 per cent can be explained by temperature increase. The temperature increase is ascribed to both climate change and the effects of urbanisation, so-called urban heat islands. Researchers found no correlation between the increase dengue incidence in Singapore and the incidence of air passenger arrivals from dengue endemic countries.
“No previous studies have shown such an evident correlation from long study periods. Our results have considerable consequences for the possibility to predict future trends in dengue epidemics that first and foremost are caused by fast urbanisation with population growth in numerous dengue endemic countries. It is now time for decision-makers and the researcher society to pay more attention to the negative effects of urbanisation and how the warmer climate affects the incidence of diseases such as dengue,” says Joacim Rocklöv, associate professor at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umeå University.
For more information, please contact:
Joacim Rocklöv, associate professor, Epidemiology and Global Health at Umeå University.
Phone: +46 70-636 16 35
About the article:
Struchiner CJ, Rocklöv J, Wilder-Smith A, Massad E. Increasing Dengue Incidence in Singapore over the Past 40 Years: Population Growth, Climate and Mobility. PLoS ONE 2015; 10(8): e0136286. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0136286