Although diurnal temperature range (DTR) is a key index of climate change, few studies have reported the health burden of DTR and its temporal changes at a multi-country scale. Therefore, we assessed the attributable risk fraction of DTR on mortality and its temporal variations in a multi-country data set. We collected time-series data covering mortality and weather variables from 308 cities in 10 countries from 1972 to 2013. The temporal change in DTR-related mortality was estimated for each city with a time-varying distributed lag model. Estimates for each city were pooled using a multivariate meta-analysis. The results showed that the attributable fraction of total mortality to DTR was 2.5% (95% eCI: 2.3-2.7%) over the entire study period. In all countries, the attributable fraction increased from 2.4% (2.1-2.7%) to 2.7% (2.4-2.9%) between the first and last study years. This study found that DTR has significantly contributed to mortality in all the countries studied, and this attributable fraction has significantly increased over time in the USA, the UK, Spain, and South Korea. Therefore, because the health burden of DTR is not likely to reduce in the near future, countermeasures are needed to alleviate its impact on human health.
Keywords: Attributable mortality risk fraction; Climate change; Diurnal temperature range; Time-varying effect.
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