Background and purpose: The relationship between stroke and short-term temperature changes remains controversial. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the association between stroke and both high and low temperatures, and health assessment.
Methods: We searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) and Wanfang Data up to 14 September 2014. Study selection, quality assessment, and author-contractions were steps before data extraction. We converted all estimates effects into relative risk (RR) per 1 °C increase/decrease in temperature from 75th to 99th or 25th to 1st percentiles, then conducted meta-analyses to combine the ultimate RRs, and assessed health impact among the population.
Results: 20 articles were included in the final analysis. The overall analysis showed a positive relationship between 1 °C change and the occurrence of major adverse cerebrovascular events (MACBE), 1.1% (95% confidence intervals (CI), 0.6 to 1.7) and 1.2% (95% CI, 0.8 to 1.6) increase for hot and cold effects separately. The same trends can be found in both effects of mortality and the cold effect for morbidity. Hot temperature acted as a protective factor of hemorrhage stroke (HS), -1.9% (95% CI, -2.8 to -0.9), however, it acted as a risk factor for ischemic stroke (IS), 1.2% (95% CI, 0.7 to 1.8).
Conclusion: Short-term changes of both low and high temperature had statistically significant impacts on MACBE.
Keywords: meta-analysis; short-term; stroke; temperature change.