Changing patterns of the temperature-mortality association by time and location in the US, and implications for climate change

Francesco Nordio, Antonella Zanobetti, Elena Colicino, Itai Kloog, Joel Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

The shape of the non-linear relationship between temperature and mortality varies among cities with different climatic conditions. There has been little examination of how these curves change over space and time. We evaluated the short-term effects of hot and cold temperatures on daily mortality over six 7-year periods in 211 US cities, comprising over 42 million deaths. Cluster analysis was used to group the cities according to similar temperatures and relative humidity. Temperature-mortality functions were calculated using B-splines to model the heat effect (lag 0) and the cold effect on mortality (moving average lags 1-5). The functions were then combined through meta-smoothing and subsequently analyzed by meta-regression. We identified eight clusters. At lag 0, Cluster 5 (West Coast) had a RR of 1.14 (95% CI: 1.11,1.17) for temperatures of 27. °C vs 15.6. °C, and Cluster 6 (Gulf Coast) has a RR of 1.04 (95% CI: 1.03,1.05), suggesting that people are acclimated to their respective climates. Controlling for cluster effect in the multivariate-meta regression we found that across the US, the excess mortality from a 24-h temperature of 27. °C decreased over time from 10.6% to 0.9%. We found that the overall risk due to the heat effect is significantly affected by summer temperature mean and air condition usage, which could be a potential predictor in building climate-change scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-86
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental International
Volume81
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2015

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Health effects
  • Meta-smoothing
  • Temperature

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