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Short-term associations between both hot and cold ambient temperatures and higher mortality have been found worldwide. Few studies have examined these associations on longer time scales. Age-standardized mortality rates (ASMRs) were calculated for 1976-2012 for Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China, defining "annual" time periods in 2 ways: from May through April of the following year and from November through October. Annual frequency and severity of extreme temperatures were summarized by using a degree-days approach with extreme heat expressed as annual degree-days >29.3°C and cold as annual degree-days <27.5°C. For example, a day with a mean temperature of 25.0°C contributes 2.5 cold degree-days to the annual total. Generalized additive models were used to estimate the association between annual hot and cold degree-days and the ASMR, with adjustment for long-term trends. Increases of 10 hot or 200 cold degree-days in an annual period, the approximate interquartile ranges for these variables, were significantly (all P's ≤ 0.011) associated with 1.9% or 3.1% increases, respectively, in the annual ASMR for the May-April analyses and with 2.2% or 2.8% increases, respectively, in the November-October analyses. Associations were stronger for noncancer and elderly mortality. Mortality increases associated with extreme temperature are not simply due to short-term forward displacement of deaths that would have occurred anyway within a few weeks.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/aje/kwv013

Type

Journal article

Journal

Am J Epidemiol

Publication Date

01/07/2015

Volume

182

Pages

80 - 87

Keywords

ambient temperature, biometeorology, climate change, mortality, time series, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Child, Child, Preschool, China, Hot Temperature, Humans, Infant, Middle Aged, Mortality, Public Health, Young Adult