Thermal stress associated mortality risk and effect modification by sex and obesity in an elderly cohort of Chinese in Hong Kong

Environ Pollut. 2013 Jul;178:288-93. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2013.03.020. Epub 2013 Apr 13.


We assessed the effects of apparent temperature (AT) on mortality and the effect modifications attributable to individual characteristics in Hong Kong with subtropical climate conditions. Two datasets are used for analyses: one from mortality data of the general elderly population in 1998-2009; the other from an elderly cohort with 66,820 subjects recruited in 1998-2001 with mortality outcomes followed up until 2009. We found that AT below 20.8 °C was associated with an increase in mortality risk of 1.99% (95% confidence interval: 0.64%, 2.64%) for all causes, 2.48% (0.57%, 4.36%) for cardiovascular disease, and 3.19% (0.59%, 5.73%) for respiratory disease for every 1 °C decrease in AT over the following 3 days. The associations were modified by sex and body mass index, in particular stronger associations were observed for females and for obese subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Air Pollution
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Climate Change
  • Female
  • Heat Stress Disorders / mortality*
  • Heat-Shock Response*
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mortality*
  • Obesity / mortality*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / mortality
  • Sex Factors