An attempt to quantify the health impacts of flooding in the UK using an urban case study

Lorna Fewtrell, David Kay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (SciVal)


Objectives To quantify, so far as possible, the health effects of flooding in the UK to allow comparison between different flooding events. Methods The health effects resulting from flooding events were determined through an extensive literature search, where information existed to enable the quantification of these effects. Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) were used to enable the comparison between different health impacts and different flood events and populations, using two sites subject to pluvial flooding in the Bradford area, UK. Results Relatively few properties (and hence people) were affected by flooding in the case study areas and there were no predicted deaths or serious injuries; these results were supported by anecdotal knowledge of the events. Mental health problems, characterized as psychological distress, were estimated for adults; these were found to dominate the calculated health impacts, being considerably greater than the combined physical symptoms in the case study examples. Conclusions While it was not possible to quantify every flood-related health impact, this method does allow comparisons to be made between different flood events and mitigation strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-451
Number of pages6
JournalPublic Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2008


  • Disability-adjusted life years
  • Death
  • Flooding
  • Injury
  • Infection
  • Mental health


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