Impact of diurnal temperature range on human health: a systematic review

Int J Biometeorol. 2014 Nov;58(9):2011-24. doi: 10.1007/s00484-014-0797-5. Epub 2014 Feb 18.


Increasing epidemiological studies have shown that a rapid temperature change within 1 day is an independent risk factor for human health. This paper aimed to systematically review the epidemiological evidence on the relationship between diurnal temperature range (DTR) and human health and to propose future research directions. A literature search was conducted in October 2013 using the databases including PubMed, ScienceDirect, and EBSCO. Empirical studies regarding the relationship between DTR and mortality and morbidity were included. Twenty-five relevant studies were identified, among which, 11 investigated the relationship between DTR and mortality and 14 examined the impact of DTR on morbidity. The majority of existing studies reported that DTR was significantly associated with mortality and morbidity, particularly for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Notably, compared with adults, the elderly and children were more vulnerable to DTR effects. However, there were some inconsistencies regarding the susceptible groups, lag time, and threshold of DTR. The impact of DTR on human health may be confounded or modified by season, socioeconomic, and educational status. Further research is needed to further confirm the adverse effects of DTR in different geographical locations; examine the effects of DTR on the health of children aged one or under; explore extreme DTR effects on human health; analyze the difference of DTR effects on human health in different locations and the modified effects of potential confounding factors; and develop detailed preventive measures against large DTR, particularly for susceptible groups.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Climate Change*
  • Communicable Diseases / mortality*
  • Comorbidity
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Internationality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiration Disorders / mortality*
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Temperature*
  • Young Adult