Assessment of heat-related mortality in budapest from 2000 to 2010 by different indicators

János Bobvos, Balázs Fazekas, Anna Páldy

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The increase of the temperature and frequency of extreme weather events are predicted as the most visible effects of expected climate change. The number of publications dealing with heat-related mortality has been increasing for the last 20 years. They concluded that no formal definition of a heat wave existed, so the definition of such events would be very important. A more consistent methodology for calculating excess mortality would enhance comparisons between studies. It is a growing demand to elaborate and use indicators which can provide comparable information of the impact of heat on mortality in different geographic and climatic regions. Therefore, the World Health Organization developed a set of climate change related health indicators in the CEHAPIS (Climate, Environment and Health Action Plan Information System) project. The authors aimed to assess heat related excess mortality by using this methodology, in addition to indicators used in the Hungarian Heat Alert System, in order to provide a recommendation for a more precise detection of health effects in Budapest. In this paper, the heat wave related daily excess mortality is analyzed for the summer periods of 2000 –2010 in Budapest. Mortality is characterized by the daily total mortality and that of the age group 65 years and over. Meteorological variables of the Pestszentlőrinc station, regarded as an urban background meteorological station, were used. Daily temperature was characterized by four indicators: mean and maximum daily temperatures, and mean and maximum daily apparent temperatures. The impact on mortality was compared in relation to the different temperature indicators and threshold values. A method was developed to define the optimal threshold range where the excess mortality could be identified effectively.The recommended method is capable to detect the changes of temperature and to assess the impact of heat waves on daily mortality. The results are in accordance with previous studies. Concerning the indicators, the application of daily mean temperature values seems to be optimal for Budapest. Further analyses are required to answer the question to what extent the Budapest findings can be used in other cities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-158
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015



  • Climate change
  • Health effects of climate change
  • Heat indicators
  • Heat-health warning system
  • Heat-related mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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