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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int ; 28(13): 16682-16689, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1241701

ABSTRACT

Heat-related illnesses (HRIs), mainly heat exhaustion (HE) and heat stroke (HS), are characterized by an elevation of core body temperature. In this study, we aimed to explore the HRIs' types and patient characteristics among a sample taken from various representative in-field points in the Hajj season. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2018 at 80 data collection points distributed in the field. Data related to demographics, features and risk factors were collected and analyzed from all encountered cases with suspected HRIs. Moreover, we developed a diagnostic tree for HRIs by using the XGBoost model. Out of the 1200 persons encountered during the study period, 231 fulfilled the criteria of HRIs spectrum and were included in this study. Around 6% had HS and 20% had HE. All HS cases (100%) were from outside of Saudi Arabia as compared with 72.5% diagnosed with HE (27.5% were from Saudi Arabia). In addition, 16% were considered as heat-induced muscle spasms, and 7% had limb heat edema. Additionally, most of HRIs cases were reported between 11 am and 1 pm. The HRIs diagnostic tree model gave a diagnostic accuracy of 93.6%. This study highlights the magnitude of HRIs among pilgrims in Hajj and provides a diagnostic tree that can aid in the risk stratification and diagnosis of these patients. We advise the implementation of more educational campaigns to pilgrims regarding preventable measures especially for the vulnerable groups (e.g. from outside Saudi Arabia, those with comorbidities and light-skinned people).


Subject(s)
Heat Stroke , Hot Temperature , Cross-Sectional Studies , Heat Stroke/diagnosis , Humans , Saudi Arabia , Travel
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