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Environ Health Perspect. 2017 Aug 10;125(8):087006. doi: 10.1289/EHP1026.

Heat Wave and Mortality: A Multicountry, Multicommunity Study.

Author information

1
Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, The University of Queensland , Brisbane, Australia.
2
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University , Melbourne, Australia.
3
Department of Social and Environmental Health Research, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine , London, UK.
4
Health Impact Assessment Division, Department of Health, Ministry of Public Heath , Thailand.
5
Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research, Spanish Council for Scientific Research , Barcelona, Spain.
6
School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, University of Ottawa , Ottawa, Canada.
7
Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
8
Laboratory of Experimental Air Pollution, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo , São Paulo, Brazil.
9
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Peking University , Beijing, China.
10
Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University , Seoul, Republic of Korea.
11
Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University , Nagasaki, Japan.
12
Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba , Tsukuba, Japan.
13
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes , Zhunan, Taiwan.
14
Department of Public Health, National Taiwan University , Taipei, Taiwan.
15
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
16
School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University , New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
17
Department of Epidemiology of the Lazio Regional Health Service, Rome, Italy.
18
Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong , Hong Kong, China.
19
School of Public Health, University of São Paulo , São Paulo, Brazil.
20
Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba , Tsukuba City, Japan.
21
Laboratory of Management in Public Health, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.
22
Institute of Environment, Health and Societies, Brunel University London , London, UK.
23
Environmental Health Sciences Institute, Dublin Institute of Technology , Dublin, Ireland.
24
Institute of Research and Development, Duy Tan University , Da Nang, Vietnam.
25
Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Public Health, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City , Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
26
Department of Medical Statistics, Faculty of Public Health, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City , Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
27
School of Geography and Environmental Sciences, University of Hakim Sabzevari , Iran.
28
School of Public Health and Social Work and Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology , Brisbane, Australia.
29
Shanghai Children's Medical Centre, Shanghai Jiao-Tong University , Shanghai, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Few studies have examined variation in the associations between heat waves and mortality in an international context.

OBJECTIVES:

We aimed to systematically examine the impacts of heat waves on mortality with lag effects internationally.

METHODS:

We collected daily data of temperature and mortality from 400 communities in 18 countries/regions and defined 12 types of heat waves by combining community-specific daily mean temperature ≥90th, 92.5th, 95th, and 97.5th percentiles of temperature with duration ≥2, 3, and 4 d. We used time-series analyses to estimate the community-specific heat wave-mortality relation over lags of 0-10 d. Then, we applied meta-analysis to pool heat wave effects at the country level for cumulative and lag effects for each type of heat wave definition.

RESULTS:

Heat waves of all definitions had significant cumulative associations with mortality in all countries, but varied by community. The higher the temperature threshold used to define heat waves, the higher heat wave associations on mortality. However, heat wave duration did not modify the impacts. The association between heat waves and mortality appeared acutely and lasted for 3 and 4 d. Heat waves had higher associations with mortality in moderate cold and moderate hot areas than cold and hot areas. There were no added effects of heat waves on mortality in all countries/regions, except for Brazil, Moldova, and Taiwan. Heat waves defined by daily mean and maximum temperatures produced similar heat wave-mortality associations, but not daily minimum temperature.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results indicate that high temperatures create a substantial health burden, and effects of high temperatures over consecutive days are similar to what would be experienced if high temperature days occurred independently. People living in moderate cold and moderate hot areas are more sensitive to heat waves than those living in cold and hot areas. Daily mean and maximum temperatures had similar ability to define heat waves rather than minimum temperature. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP1026.

PMID:
28886602
PMCID:
PMC5783630
DOI:
10.1289/EHP1026
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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