Effects of extreme temperatures on cerebrovascular mortality in Lisbon: a distributed lag non-linear model

Author: Mónica Rodrigues, Paula Santana, Alfredo Rocha

Year: 2019

Published in: International Journal of Biometeorology volume 63, pages549–559(2019)

Cerebrovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality in Portugal, especially when related with extreme temperatures. This study highlights the impacts of the exposure-response relationship or lagged effect of low and high temperatures on cerebrovascular mortality, which can be important to reduce the health burden from cerebrovascular diseases. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of weather on cerebrovascular mortality, measured by ambient temperature in the District of Lisbon, Portugal. A quasi-Poisson generalized additive model combined with a distributed lag non-linear model was applied to estimate the delayed effects of temperature on cerebrovascular mortality up to 30 days. With reference to minimum mortality temperature threshold of 22 °C, there was a severe risk (RR = 2.09, 95% CI 1.74, 2.51) of mortality for a 30-day-cumulative exposure to extreme cold temperatures of 7.3 °C (1st percentile). Similarly, the cumulative effect of a 30-day exposure to an extreme hot temperature of 30 °C (99th percentile) was 52% (RR = 1.65, 95% CI 1.37, 1.98) higher than same-day exposure. Over the 13 years of study, non-linear effects of temperature on mortality were identified, and the probability of dying from cerebrovascular disease in Lisbon was 7% higher in the winter than in the summer. The findings of this study provide a baseline for future public health prevention programs on weather-related mortality.