Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Mayur M. Desai


Introduction: Hurricanes and other weather-related disasters are increasing in frequency and virulence as a result of climate change. While post-disaster mental health outcomes are robustly studied, post-disaster physical health conditions are not, especially in the longer-term aftermath of disasters. Hypertension is of particular concern due to its links with stress and traumatic events. To address this gap in the literature, this study examined the association between cumulative disaster exposure and hypertension over several years.Methods: Data were from the Resilience in Survivors of Katrina (Project), a longitudinal cohort study of primarily Black mothers. A total of 505 women who had not been diagnosed with hypertension before Hurricane Katrina were studied to find if there were associations between the number of disasters participants had experienced and hypertension. Logistic regression models were used to assess this association. Results: We found that cumulative disaster exposure was associated with onset of hypertension, particularly in the case of experiencing three or more hurricanes. Conclusions: These findings provide novel evidence that cumulative disaster exposure is associated with adverse physical health consequences.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access