An ecological time-series study of heat-related mortality in three European cities

Ai Ishigami, Shakoor Hajat, R. Sari Kovats, Luigi Bisanti, Magda Rognoni, Antonio Russo, A. Páldy

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Abstract

Background. Europe has experienced warmer summers in the past two decades and there is a need to describe the determinants of heat-related mortality to better inform public health activities during hot weather. We investigated the effect of high temperatures on daily mortality in three cities in Europe (Budapest, London, and Milan), using a standard approach. Methods. An ecological time-series study of daily mortality was conducted in three cities using Poisson generalized linear models allowing for over-dispersion. Secular trends in mortality and seasonal confounding factors were controlled for using cubic smoothing splines of time. Heat exposure was modelled using average values of the temperature measure on the same day as death (lag 0) and the day before (lag 1). The heat effect was quantified assuming a linear increase in risk above a cut-point for each city. Socio-economic status indicators and census data were linked with mortality data for stratified analyses. Results. The risk of heat-related death increased with age, and females had a greater risk than males in age groups ≥65 years in London and Milan. The relative risks of mortality (per °C) above the heat cut-point by gender and age were: (i) Male 1.10 (95%CI: 1.07-1.12) and Female 1.07 (1.05-1.10) for 75-84 years, (ii) M 1.10 (1.06-1.14) and F 1.08 (1.06-1.11) for ≥85 years in Budapest (≥24°C); (i) M 1.03 (1.01-1.04) and F 1.07 (1.05-1.09), (ii) M 1.05 (1.03-1.07) and F 1.08 (1.07-1.10) in London (≥20°C); and (i) M 1.08 (1.03-1.14) and F 1.20 (1.15-1.26), (ii) M 1.18 (1.11-1.26) and F 1.19 (1.15-1.24) in Milan (≥26°C). Mortality from external causes increases at higher temperatures as well as that from respiratory and cardiovascular disease. There was no clear evidence of effect modification by socio-economic status in either Budapest or London, but there was a seemingly higher risk for affluent non-elderly adults in Milan. Conclusion. We found broadly consistent determinants (age, gender, and cause of death) of heat related mortality in three European cities using a standard approach. Our results are consistent with previous evidence for individual determinants, and also confirm the lack of a strong socio-economic gradient in heat health effects currently in Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalEnvironmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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Hot Temperature
time series
mortality
Mortality
Economics
Temperature
gender
respiratory disease
city
cause of death
cardiovascular disease
Weather
Censuses
smoothing
public health
Cause of Death
census
Linear Models
Cardiovascular Diseases
Public Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

An ecological time-series study of heat-related mortality in three European cities. / Ishigami, Ai; Hajat, Shakoor; Kovats, R. Sari; Bisanti, Luigi; Rognoni, Magda; Russo, Antonio; Páldy, A.

In: Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source, Vol. 7, 5, 2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ishigami, Ai ; Hajat, Shakoor ; Kovats, R. Sari ; Bisanti, Luigi ; Rognoni, Magda ; Russo, Antonio ; Páldy, A. / An ecological time-series study of heat-related mortality in three European cities. In: Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source. 2008 ; Vol. 7.
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abstract = "Background. Europe has experienced warmer summers in the past two decades and there is a need to describe the determinants of heat-related mortality to better inform public health activities during hot weather. We investigated the effect of high temperatures on daily mortality in three cities in Europe (Budapest, London, and Milan), using a standard approach. Methods. An ecological time-series study of daily mortality was conducted in three cities using Poisson generalized linear models allowing for over-dispersion. Secular trends in mortality and seasonal confounding factors were controlled for using cubic smoothing splines of time. Heat exposure was modelled using average values of the temperature measure on the same day as death (lag 0) and the day before (lag 1). The heat effect was quantified assuming a linear increase in risk above a cut-point for each city. Socio-economic status indicators and census data were linked with mortality data for stratified analyses. Results. The risk of heat-related death increased with age, and females had a greater risk than males in age groups ≥65 years in London and Milan. The relative risks of mortality (per °C) above the heat cut-point by gender and age were: (i) Male 1.10 (95{\%}CI: 1.07-1.12) and Female 1.07 (1.05-1.10) for 75-84 years, (ii) M 1.10 (1.06-1.14) and F 1.08 (1.06-1.11) for ≥85 years in Budapest (≥24°C); (i) M 1.03 (1.01-1.04) and F 1.07 (1.05-1.09), (ii) M 1.05 (1.03-1.07) and F 1.08 (1.07-1.10) in London (≥20°C); and (i) M 1.08 (1.03-1.14) and F 1.20 (1.15-1.26), (ii) M 1.18 (1.11-1.26) and F 1.19 (1.15-1.24) in Milan (≥26°C). Mortality from external causes increases at higher temperatures as well as that from respiratory and cardiovascular disease. There was no clear evidence of effect modification by socio-economic status in either Budapest or London, but there was a seemingly higher risk for affluent non-elderly adults in Milan. Conclusion. We found broadly consistent determinants (age, gender, and cause of death) of heat related mortality in three European cities using a standard approach. Our results are consistent with previous evidence for individual determinants, and also confirm the lack of a strong socio-economic gradient in heat health effects currently in Europe.",
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AU - Páldy, A.

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N2 - Background. Europe has experienced warmer summers in the past two decades and there is a need to describe the determinants of heat-related mortality to better inform public health activities during hot weather. We investigated the effect of high temperatures on daily mortality in three cities in Europe (Budapest, London, and Milan), using a standard approach. Methods. An ecological time-series study of daily mortality was conducted in three cities using Poisson generalized linear models allowing for over-dispersion. Secular trends in mortality and seasonal confounding factors were controlled for using cubic smoothing splines of time. Heat exposure was modelled using average values of the temperature measure on the same day as death (lag 0) and the day before (lag 1). The heat effect was quantified assuming a linear increase in risk above a cut-point for each city. Socio-economic status indicators and census data were linked with mortality data for stratified analyses. Results. The risk of heat-related death increased with age, and females had a greater risk than males in age groups ≥65 years in London and Milan. The relative risks of mortality (per °C) above the heat cut-point by gender and age were: (i) Male 1.10 (95%CI: 1.07-1.12) and Female 1.07 (1.05-1.10) for 75-84 years, (ii) M 1.10 (1.06-1.14) and F 1.08 (1.06-1.11) for ≥85 years in Budapest (≥24°C); (i) M 1.03 (1.01-1.04) and F 1.07 (1.05-1.09), (ii) M 1.05 (1.03-1.07) and F 1.08 (1.07-1.10) in London (≥20°C); and (i) M 1.08 (1.03-1.14) and F 1.20 (1.15-1.26), (ii) M 1.18 (1.11-1.26) and F 1.19 (1.15-1.24) in Milan (≥26°C). Mortality from external causes increases at higher temperatures as well as that from respiratory and cardiovascular disease. There was no clear evidence of effect modification by socio-economic status in either Budapest or London, but there was a seemingly higher risk for affluent non-elderly adults in Milan. Conclusion. We found broadly consistent determinants (age, gender, and cause of death) of heat related mortality in three European cities using a standard approach. Our results are consistent with previous evidence for individual determinants, and also confirm the lack of a strong socio-economic gradient in heat health effects currently in Europe.

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