Association of outdoor temperature with lung function in a temperate climate

Mary B. Rice, Wenyuan Li, Elissa H. Wilker, Diane R. Gold, Joel Schwartz, Antonella Zanobetti, Petros Koutrakis, Itai Kloog, George R. Washko, George T. O’Connor, Murray A. Mittleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Acute exposure to cold dry air is a trigger of bronchoconstriction, but little is known about how daily outdoor temperature influences lung function. We investigated associations of temperature from a model using satellite remote sensing data with repeated measures of lung function among 5896 participants of the Framingham Heart Study Offspring and Third Generation cohorts residing in the Northeastern US. We further tested if temperature modified previously reported associations between pollution and lung function. We constructed linear mixed-effects models, and assessed departures from linearity using penalised splines. In fully adjusted linear models, 1-, 2- and 7-day average temperatures were all associated with lower lung function: each 5°C higher previous-week temperature was associated with a 20 mL lower (95% CI −34–−6) forced expiratory volume in 1 s. There was significant effect modification by season: negative associations of temperature and lung function were present in winter and spring only. Negative associations between previous-day fine particulate matter and lung function were present during unseasonably warm but not unseasonably cool days, with a similar pattern for other pollutants. We speculate that temperature-related differences in lung function may be explained by behavioural changes on relatively warm days, which may increase outdoor exposures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800612
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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