Weather, season, and daily stroke admissions in Hong Kong.
Goggins WB., Woo J., Ho S., Chan EYY., Chau PH.
Previous studies examining daily temperature and stroke incidence have given conflicting results. We undertook this retrospective study of all stroke admissions in those aged 35 years old and above to Hong Kong public hospitals from 1999 through 2006 in order to better understand the effects of meteorological conditions on stroke risk in a subtropical setting. We used Poisson Generalized Additive Models with daily hemorrhagic (HS) and ischemic stroke (IS) counts separately as outcomes, and daily mean temperature, humidity, solar radiation, rainfall, air pressure, pollutants, flu consultation rates, day of week, holidays, time trend and seasonality as predictors. Lagged effects of temperature, humidity and pollutants were also considered. A total of 23,457 HS and 107,505 IS admissions were analyzed. Mean daily temperature had a strong, consistent, negative linear association with HS admissions over the range (8.2-31.8°C) observed. A 1°C lower average temperature over the same day and previous 4 days (lags 0-4) being associated with a 2.7% (95% CI: 2.0-3.4%, P < .0.0001) higher admission rate after controlling for other variables. This association was stronger among older subjects and females. Higher lag 0-4 average change in air pressure from previous day was modestly associated with higher HS risk. The association between IS and temperature was weaker and apparent only below 22°C, with a 1°C lower average temperature (lags 0-13) below this threshold being associated with a 1.6% (95% CI:1.0-2.2%, P < 0.0001) higher IS admission rate. Pollutant levels were not associated with HS or IS. Future studies should examine HS and IS risk separately.