The impact of extremely hot weather events on all-cause mortality in a highly urbanized and densely populated subtropical city: A 10-year time-series study (2006–2015)
Publication in refereed journal

Times Cited
Altmetrics Information

Other information
The impact of heatwaves on public health has led to an urgent need to describe extremely hot weather events (EHWEs) and evaluate their health impacts.

In Hong Kong, a very hot day (VHD) can be defined when the daily maximum temperature ≥ 33 °C, and a hot night (HN) can be identified if the daily minimum temperature ≥ 28 °C. Three lengths of time, nine combinations of VHD and HN, and four categories of occurrence intervals between two EHWEs were considered over 2006–2015. The daily relative risk (RR) of all-cause mortality was estimated using Poisson generalized additive regression models, controlling for both short-term and long-term trends in temperature as well as four air pollutants. Lagged effects of the representative EHWEs were further examined for their association with mortality. Subgroup analysis was conducted for different sex and age groups.

Significant associations with raised mortality risks were observed for a single HN, while stronger associations with mortality were observed as significant for five or more consecutive VHDs/HNs. More HNs between the consecutive VHDs also significantly amplified the impact on mortality, with the strongest association observed for EHWEs characterized as 2D3N, and the effect significantly lagged for five days. Therefore, with identifiable health impacts, three thresholds (5VHDs, 5HNs, & 2D3N) were determined to be representative of identical types of EHWEs in Hong Kong. Furthermore, by taking 2 (3) consecutive VHDs (HNs) as one daytime (nighttime) EHWE event, those occurring consecutively without non-hot days (nights) in between were found to be significantly associated with excess mortality risks. Moreover, females and older adults were determined to be relatively more vulnerable to all defined EHWEs.

Among all the observed significant heat-mortality associations in highly urbanized cities, EHWEs that occurred during the nighttime, with extended length, consecutively without any break in between, or in the pattern of 2D3N might require the meteorological administration, healthcare providers, and urban planners to work interactively.
Acceptance Date03/07/2019
All Author(s) ListDan Wang, Kevin Ka-Lun Lau, Chao Ren, William Bernard III Goggins, Yuan Shi, Hung Chak Ho, Tsz-Cheung Lee, Lap-Shun Lee, Jean Woo, Edward Ng
Journal nameScience of the Total Environment
Volume Number690
Pages923 - 931
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
KeywordsExtremely hot weather event, Heat wave, Heat health, Mortality, Urban heat island effect

Last updated on 2020-04-04 at 10:08