Temperature and mortality in 11 cities of the eastern United States

Frank C. Curriero, Karlyn S. Heiner, Jonathan M. Samet, Scott L. Zeger, Lisa Strug, Jonathan A. Patz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Episodes of extremely hot or cold temperatures are associated with increased mortality. Time-series analyses show an association between temperature and mortality across a range of less extreme temperatures. In this paper, the authors describe the temperature-mortality association for 11 large eastern US cities in 1973-1994 by estimating the relative risks of mortality using log-linear regression analysis for time-series data and by exploring city characteristics associated with variations in this temperature-mortality relation. Current and recent days' temperatures were the weather components most strongly predictive of mortality, and mortality risk generally decreased as temperature increased from the coldest days to a certain threshold temperature, which varied by latitude, above which mortality risk increased as temperature increased. The authors also found a strong association of the temperature-mortality relation with latitude, with a greater effect of colder temperatures on mortality risk in more-southern cities and of warmer temperatures in more-northern cities. The percentage of households with air conditioners in the south and heaters in the north, which serve as indicators of socioeconomic status of the city population, also predicted weather-related mortality. The model developed in this analysis is potentially useful for projecting the consequences of climate-change scenarios and offering insights into susceptibility to the adverse effects of weather.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-87
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Volume155
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Cause of death
  • Climate
  • Heat
  • Mortality
  • Weather

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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