Objective: The present study aimed to determine the plausibility of forecasting the outbreak of diseases based on the weather by analysing the impact of atmospheric temperature and humidity on the occurrence of different diseases.
Methods: The subjects of the present study were the 30,434 patients who visited the ED in 1 year from 1 February 2005 to 3 February 2006. The present study analysed the correlation between the daily number of patients who suffered from 22 types of traumatic and non-traumatic diseases and the data on atmospheric temperature and humidity provided by the Korea Meteorological Administration.
Results: With traumatic disease, the occurrence tended to increase in proportion to the rise in temperature and humidity; whereas with non-traumatic disease, the occurrence tended to increase according to the rise in temperature, irrespective of humidity changes. The research on the impact of atmospheric temperature and humidity on different diseases revealed a high level of distribution of most diseases in an environment with high temperature and humidity. However, in the case of pulmonary diseases and trauma to multiple body regions, the occurrence increased in environments with low temperature and high humidity for pulmonary diseases, and with low temperature and low humidity for trauma to multiple body regions.
Conclusion: Most diseases tend to increase in proportion to the rise in atmospheric temperature whereas being less affected by humidity. However, an increase in humidity in an optimum range of atmospheric temperature (12 degrees C or higher) triggers an increase in the occurrence of diseases.