Short-Term Effects of Ambient Temperature Variation on Mortality in China

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Chu, Cordia

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Rutherford, Shannon

Baum, Scott

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Many studies have demonstrated significant impacts of weather variation on population health in developed countries. In the last decade, there are some similar studies from China focusing on a single city or a small number of cities. However, those studies could not depict a holistic picture of temperature variation on health in China because they only included too small samples and regions. This study aims to comprehensively assess the association between temperature variation and mortality in China, and further explore the modification factors of the association. At national level, mortality data and meteorological data during 2006-2011 were collected from 66 communities across China. In Guangdong Province, we collected relevant data from 4 cities. We used a Distributed Lag Non-linear Model(DLNM) to estimate community-specific effects of temperature on non-accidental mortality. A meta-analysis was then applied to pool the estimates of community-specific effects. The key findings from this study are: (1) A U-shaped relationship was observed between ambient temperature and mortality in China. The overall threshold was at about the 75th percentile of the pooled temperature distribution in China. Cold effect was delayed and persisted, whereas hot effect was acute. (2) Mortality effect of ambient temperature varies geographically. Compared with north China, south China had a higher minimum mortality temperature (MMT), and there was a larger cold effect in the more southern parts of China and a more pronounced hot effect in more northern parts. (3) Except for absolute temperature, temperature fluctuations such as temperature change within a day and temperature change between neighboring days are also independent risk factors of daily mortality. (4) Extreme weather events such as heat wave and cold spell significantly increase mortality risk in China. The main effects of heat wave due to high temperature were greater than the added effects on the current day due to prolonged heat for several consecutive days. (5) The elderly, people with chronic diseases and people living in densely populated communities are vulnerable population to ambient temperature variation in China.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy by Publication (PhD)


Griffith School of Environment

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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PhD by Publication

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Mortality, China

Health, Effect of weather on, China

Distributed Lag Non-linear Model(DLNM)

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