Air temperature and the occurrence of myocardial infarction in Augsburg, Germany

Circulation. 2009 Sep 1;120(9):735-42. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.815860. Epub 2009 Aug 17.


Background: Air temperature changes have been associated with cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. The objective of this study was to examine in detail the registry-based myocardial infarction (MI) rates and coronary deaths in relation to air temperature in the area of Augsburg, Germany.

Methods and results: Between 1995 and 2004, the Monitoring Trends and Determinants on Cardiovascular Diseases/Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (MONICA/KORA) registry recorded 9801 cases of MI and coronary deaths. Over the same period, meteorological parameters and air pollutant concentrations were measured in the study region. Poisson regression analyses adjusting for time trend, relative humidity, season, and calendar effects were used to estimate immediate, delayed, and cumulative temperature effects on the occurrence of MIs. The daily rates of total MI, nonfatal and fatal events, and incident and recurrent events were analyzed. For the total MI cases, a 10 degrees C decrease in 5-day average temperature was associated with a relative risk of 1.10 (95% confidence interval, 1.04 to 1.15). The effect of temperature on the occurrence of nonfatal events showed a delayed pattern, whereas the association with fatal MI was more immediate. No association could be observed for recurrent events. The effects of temperature decreases on total MI cases were more pronounced in years with higher average temperatures and were visible in summer.

Conclusions: We observed an inverse relationship between temperature and MI occurrence not only during winter but also during summer. Thus, our results suggest not a pure "cold effect" but an influence of unusual temperature decreases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air
  • Air Pollutants
  • Diabetes Mellitus / mortality
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Hypertension / mortality
  • Male
  • Meteorological Concepts*
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality*
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons*
  • Temperature*


  • Air Pollutants